It was a source of pride between farmers, demonstrating agriculture skills. The most obvious, the ability to plow a neat straight line was on display to all who passed by a farmer’s field. After church on Sunday, a few received advice on farming from helpful elders.
This farmer’s furrow
Plowed deep, straight as an arrow
For Sunday judgement
As dusk approaches in the rural Midwest, farmers grab their hats to go for a drive. “Gotta check the crops” my Grandpa would say as he drove slowly down the dusty gravel roads. It was a time tested tradition, a friendly competition to make sure you were the best.
Who had the staightest furrows, whose equipment was fastest, was under inspection… and judgement!
– Clarence Holm
Tractor furrows judged with a sociable squint,
Cast from trucks through window’s blueish tint.
Assessing neighbor’s and guaging the men,
Measuring their worth, checking at dawn and evening again
Pride is valued highly by those who worked the fields,
When no payments were given for all of their yields.
When what little you had was in your heart,
And effort and commitment held you apart.
Some men crack under the load
When fate filled them with forebode.
Dreaded thoughts of failure became all too real
As creditors brought accountants with no room for appeal
A man’s worth is more than a simple measure
Of one seasons work held hostage by some weather.
That’s why farmers work so hard each day,
To leave their best efforts on display.