President Abraham Lincoln said it best, in 1859, when he told the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society that “no other human occupation opens so wide a field for profitable and agreeable combination of labor with cultivated thought, as agriculture.” Being born and raised on a 159-acre farm in Indiana, it seems that President Lincoln shared from the voice of experience. It is interesting to ponder what our forefathers thought about and what ideas were cultivated in their upbringing, particularly for Lincoln, as he prepared for planting, harvested, and in all the days in between.
It seems as though we’ve come a long ways from the days when our presidents tilled the soil. It also seems like the days of agriculture have changed quite a bit, too. There do seem to be some things that have not changed, though. My favorite one pointed out in Lincoln’s quote about the combination of labor and thought. I hope the days of deep thought don’t pass away – that we continue to have an environment where thought is cultivated, and we continue to develop as leaders, friends, spouses, and colleagues in the industry.
Agriculture is a privilege to be a part of, and I hope that we all treat it that way. Being in a position where we do have time to think and ponder, learn about life, and call it our labor is a great honor – one that I hope will continue for generations to come.