So God Made a Farmer’s Kid

In 2013 Paul Harvey’s “So God Made a Farmer” speech was made famous through Dodge’s Super Bowl commercial. The commercial quickly went viral, reaching tens of millions of people.

Soon after, a similar poem was released, “So God Made a Farmer’s Wife.”

But, there is still a part of the farm family that hasn’t gotten the credit they deserve. A farmer’s kids. These youth are a rarity in today’s world. In my opinion, one of earth’s true hidden gems.

Today I would like to present you with yet another poem thanking the hard-working people of our agriculture industry. Because of them, we can be clothed, fed, sheltered, and have all of our needs met.trailer

On the 10th day, God looked down on his farmer and his farmer’s wife. He was pleased with the work his caretakers had done. They were working as a team, caring for his paradise.

But, he couldn’t help but feel that something was missing. His family of caretakers was not complete. Something was missing…

He realized that no matter how powerful this couple was, they couldn’t do his work alone.

Who would continue their work when they had grown weary? Who would keep the legacy intact? Who would keep this duet on their toes? Who could ask questions and learn the wisdom of these caretakers? Who could help them in their times of need?

Ah, but, you see, God, he had an idea. He knew who could fill those shoes. He knew of a person who could do what was needed, without hesitation.steer

So, on the 10th day, God blessed his caretakers with what he called a Farm Kid.

This farm kid would be nurtured with more love than ever imagined. This kid would practically be a shadow of their parents, following them around everywhere. Over the course of their childhood, they would gain the knowledge of their parents.

This farm kid would go to school, participate in all sorts of other activities, but still be a key component to caring for this paradise.

A farm kid would never be a regular kid. Some of their classmates will go home and play video games, sit on the couch, and not do anything for the rest of the day. During the busy times of the year, this kid would put in a 40+ hour work week between Monday and Friday. On top of school, homework, and other activities, this kid would manage to work right beside their parents in their “free time.” On the weekends this kid would also manage to pull the occasional all-nighter. To work from before sunrise to long after the moon had awaken. On a Monday morning, this kid might be up at 3 am helping a cow with her calf, right beside their parents. This kid might get back from the vet’s office at 5, take care of everything else before cleaning up and getting to school on time. To know that as soon as the last bell of the day went off, they’d be going right back to work. But, somehow, they would look forward to it. They would not look at it as work. No, it wasn’t work. It wasn’t ajob. It was their way beloved of life.goat-barn

This kid would sometimes hate this farm life. But, deep down, they would
always know that they were better for the experience. They would know that because they were a farm kid they could do anything. They would know that their parents would be behind them, no matter what.goat

Oh, God knew he needed one tough son-of-a-gunto help
his caretakers. He knew that he could get that in a farm kid. He knew that not everyone could handle it or understand what it meant. He knew that this special type of kid would make his paradise better, and keep it moving. He knew that a Farm Kid would become an essential part of his family of caretakers.

So God Made a Farm Kid.

-Collin Witte, Iowa Rep.

40 Reasons to be Thankful for FFA, 4-H, and Grange

Joining FFA, 4-H, or Grange is a great think for youth to do. These three organizations are life changing and provide kids with the skills needed to be successful in whatever they chose to do.

So here are 100 reasons to be thankful for FFA, 4-H, and Grange:

  1. For the friendships made.
  2. The time spent with your team, family, and friends.
  3. The time spent laughing, and crying as a team.
  4. The inspirational and motivational talks from your advisor.
  5. The long road trips.
  6. The countless speeches that helped you overcome your fear of public speaking.
  7. The memories made.
  8. The championships collected.
  9. The time spent carrying on a tradition.
  10. Helping you set goals.
  11. Helping you reach your goals.
  12. For being a part of an organization that cares about your future.
  13. For helping you care about your future.
  14. Helping you realize the importance of farming and ranching.
  15. Beginning a new tradition for your family.
  16. Helping your family bond on the long road trips.
  17. Being able to travel around the United States, and letting the jacket be your own personal passport.
  18. Teaching you how to grow your own food.
  19. Teaching you where your food comes from.
  20. Teaching you how to be a leader.
  21. Equipping you with the skills needed to be successful in whatever you chose to do in your life.
  22. Helping you grow as a person.
  23. Learning the importance of helping your community and those around you.
  24. Teaching you what good sportsmanship is.
  25. Being a token that inspired you to be the best you can be.
  26. Bringing influential people into your life.
  27. Helping you find your calling in life.
  28. Being a positive influence on you.
  29. Being there when it felt like no one was.
  30. For teaching you how to think critically.
  31. Keeping you out of trouble.
  32. The late nights spent in the barn, or practicing for competitions.
  33. The early mornings spent preparing for livestock shows, rodeos, and upcoming competitions.
  34. For the time you opened the box and first put your FFA/4-H jacket, or Grange vest.
  35. The times you felt classy in your official dress.
  36. The late nights at state conventions laughing and eating pizza with your friends.
  37. The time spent talking to your advisor/leader about your life goals.
  38. Knowledge gained.
  39. For being a big part of your life.
  40. The years spent doing something you love.


The list could go on and on, but I will just leave it here. To the present members, enjoy the time spent. To the parents unsure of letting their kids join, please read this list and realize that it can make a difference in a kids life.

Like Raised in a Barn on Facebook. Twitter/Snapchat/Instagram @raisedbarn. 

Growing up Showing Livestock

I grew up showing livestock. From the age 8 to 18, you could find me working late nights and early mornings in the barn, and on the road on weekends traveling to various livestock shows.

My community watched me grow up showing livestock. “I remember when you were 8 years old, I watched you show pigs at the Delaware County Fairgrounds.” Looking back, I can see myself grow up from pictures of me showing livestock. I didn’t know it then, but showing livestock taught me so many life lessons. As a young adult, I still use the things I learned showing livestock like money management, time management, and what hard work and dedication really are. 

To be honest, I was never the “winner.” I won a few livestock shows here and there, but never enough for people to remember my name the next day. When we pulled up, no one recognized our trailer and that was okay. I was just a stock show kid showing others that you didn’t have to win to have fun.

My parents made it clear to others that me showing livestock wasn’t about me winning blue ribbons. We didn’t always have the nicest animals, but we always had the very best times traveling together. My parents wanted to raise a blue ribbon kid. 

My family didn’t take vacation, we went livestock showing. Showing livestock made my family closer. Instead of sitting in front of a tv not talking, we were working together to prepare for livestock shows. We were also traveling in a truck and talking about everything. Showing livestock is a family event. 

I won Reserve Shorthorn at the Tulsa State Fair my junior year. Do you know what I remember most about that show? My family sitting around eating ice cream from the dairy barn. My agricultural educator telling jokes and stories as we prepared for the show. My fondest memories of FFA and 4-H involve being at a livestock show. 

Showing livestock was one of the very best things that every happened in my life. It allowed me to make life long friends, travel, and it made my family closer. Most importantly, it made me grow. I didn’t know how much I was actually growing in the show ring, but looking back I am so thankful for being able to have had the opportunity to show livestock.

I want to encourage any parent that has a child wanting to show livestock, to let them go for it.

Like Raised in a Barn on Facebook. Twitter/Instagram/Snapchat @raisedbarn. 


“You’re just a farmer”

I’m pretty sure every FFA kid has heard the stereotypical saying “you’re just a farmer”. Some people take offense to that label, but I do not. Many people think of a farmer as a person who lives in the middle of nowhere on a farm, and on the other hand we have those img_4185who see farmers as unsophisticated, soulless animal killers. The real definition of a “farmer” is “someone who deals with agriculture or farming on a daily basis”. Let’s face it we are “farmers”. My friend Arora (Wisconsin rep) had a calf born on her farm a while back, and this little guy did not have a fighting chance. Arora did everything in her power to keep him alive. I think at one point she literally gave mouth to mouth to this calf. In the end the calf died. People have no idea what farmers go through on a daily basis for their animals. Everyone is so quick to judge. Let’s not be ashamed of being called a farmer. Farmers are some of the most hardworking, dedicated people alive. We do put the food on the table and the clothes on your back. To everyone that has been called a farmer take pride in that label. You are what they say you are a “FARMER”.

Michael Sanchez- Texas Representative

Like Raised in a Barn on Facebook. Twitter/Instagram/Snapchat @raisedbarn

The Man Who Influenced Hundreds

On July 15th 2016 a very influential passed away. Mr. Bryan Lusk from the Sugar- Salem FFA chapter in Sugar City Idaho taught Agriculture education for many years. As I started to prepare and think of things I should do for Teach AG day I started to think about Mr. Lusk who inspired me to be the AGvocate I am today. Mr. Lusk taught me much but taught others lots to today for Teach AG day I would like to share some of the lessons the wise Mr. Lusk taught me and his students.

Being from the Madison FFA chapter I only got to see Mr. Lusk at district events, the county fair state leadership conference, and State CDE events.  One day sticks out in my head extraordinarily well when I think about Mr. Lusk. Over spring break Sugar-Salem was still in school so I took one day to go be his shadow for an afternoon. On this day I learned the patience it takes to be an agriculture educator as his first class started it took close to 20 minutes to get the students to stop talking and to go help transplant the flowers but even then kids complained about the dirt on their hands and many other problems Mr. Lusk never lost patience he always smiled and continued to help all his students while making a friendship with each one of them. The other thing I learned from Mr. Lusk was positivity it didn’t matter what happened during the day Mr. Lusk would always greet you with a friendly face, and tell you his days are always good.

Mr. Lusk didn’t just teach life skills he taught many Ag wonders to having not been in his classes at school I would not be able to tell you what magical wonders he taught in the classroom but from what he showed  me I would infer that his classroom lectures involved stories from growing up on the family farm,  driving tractor with his sister at age 3. To the long jogs he took around the farm to inspect fence, crops or other various farm jobs all while practicing for his next track meet.

MR Lusk helped grow an AGvocate in many members of the FFA not by his words but by his deeds he seemed to appear when you felt down and he would raise you up. He wouldn’t give you success but he climbed with you. He taught many the work ethic needed in the world today but he did so by example he worked and hoped others would follow the example. Mr. Lusk was the AGvocate that many of us need to be around so we could understand the true joy of agriculture life. Mr. Lusk always loved to help those growing around him. He was the Man to influence hundreds of anxious AGvocates.Displaying 13692673_1146891948667188_2745207455177070381_n.jpg

Like Raised in a Barn on Facebook. Twitter/Instagram/Snapchat @raisedbarn. 

Randy Clements – Idaho Raised in a Barn Representative.

Eight Thoughts When You Win

This year I have done incredible with showing and honestly haven’t had a clear thought in the past two days from all of the showing going on. I show both pygmy goats and dairy goats and this year I have taken more first than I have ever taken before. There have been so many thoughts and emotions going on but there were a few that keep going through my head still. I even saw it while at my county fairs market goat show this year. So here are eight thoughts that go through your head when you place high.

1. Did this just happen?

Of course this is the first thought that happens because in the moment that you are given your award you are in utter shock. It isn’t as I’d you didn’t work for it but more so the fact that you can’t believe it actually happened.

2. It did just happen!

You are finally realizing that you have won and coming out of shock and can’t quit smiling.
3. I did it! I did it! I did it!

Yes you did do it. All of your hours that you put in paid off and made for an incredible out come and you can’t help but think of how you are feeling.

4. Thank you so much for working with me as a pair. ( while looking at your animal)

You can’t take credit one hundred percent for this win because without your animal You wouldn’t be able to show. Also you have to work well with your animal to be able to do anything in the show ring with it.
5. I can’t stop smiling.

No you really can’t stop smiling and sometimes you almost start to cry actual tears of joy because you are in a place that actually shows how hard you have worked for this win.

6. The hard work paid off.

There really isn’t much to explain with this one because hard work will almost always pay off and be worth it in the end. Without hard work you can’t get to where you want to be and that is what drove you to put in all of those late nights in the barn with your animals.

7. I need to definitely thank the judge and talk to them.

This is a thought that comes to you more often as you get older because you realize that it really is the judge who sees your hard work and without them there wouldn’t be a show. It also is always fun to find out what the judge enjoyed most during the show and to see them smile when you thank them.

8. I shouldn’t have been so nervous before the show.

Everyone has pre-show nerves. Some people almost cry, some can’t eat and it is almost always because they are so nervous about how they are going to do. But at the end of the show you are remembering how much work and effort you put in and see that you actually were more prepared than what you thought you were.


Sarah Doner, Ohio

Like Raised in a Barn on Facebook Twitter/Instagram/Snapchat @raisedbarn


Using Setbacks to shape your future…

Screen Shot 2016-10-18 at 4.34.43 PM.png

It was just a normal day walking from the high school down to the ag barn for one of my last classes of the day. I noticed something a little fishy with the fact that the fire department and the police were down there. We figured it was nothing major with the fact that our ag teacher was sitting at his desk waiting on our class to arrive. We walked in and sat in our desks like the ordinary an then everyone says hey Morgan, your mom is here. I calmly got up from my desk and I walked over to my ag teacher Mr. Shively and asked him if I could speak to her. He calmly assured me that it was cold outside and he handed me the jacket off of his own back, he then lead me outside and to my mom. Once I was close to her I begged to know what was going on. She told me everything was going to be okay and I asked again what was wrong. She told me that the heat lamp in my pigs pen had shorted out and his whole pen burned up. She told me that he was severely burned and saving him would keep him in too much pain. I then asked if I could see him as tears began to flow from my eyes.  I walked to the back barn where the firemen and police men lined up for me to walk past. Once I made it to my wilber I did not have a care in the world how hot or wet everything was. All I cared about was cuddling up with my baby boy one last time. In the instant that I did this tears began to flow from Wilbur’s eyes and he began to squeal when he heard my voice. In this moment all the memories of how my baby boy would run after me when we played around in the barn and how he would always dig around until he realized I saw him and he tried to play it off!

Screen Shot 2016-10-18 at 4.37.57 PM.png

Anyways…Me standing here three years later realizes that as many times as people say you should not form a bond with these animals its nearly impossible. During all of this I was taking care of my first show lamb too.. his name was Max! Although it seems like I would be crazy to say that my lamb was affected when my pig died ill say it anyways. Max and Wilbur were inseparable and they loved to run around and play together on good days and on the calmer days they just cuddled and chilled together! Sometimes I would go out to Wilbur’s pen to find it empty in the mornings and I would later find him cuddled up close to Max in his pen. The point of me telling this story is to show that these animals are not just creatures that we feed everyday. These animals are the key to our futures. They are the  key to learning responsibility, courage, integrity, honesty, work ethic,  and overall being honest and fair in the game of life. As much as the events in this story hurt me and brought me down they really built me back up. In life you are going to feel super weak and brought down but sooner than you know it you are back on your feet putting one foot in front of the other. It has been three years since that day and every time I am brought down I remember that day and how it changed me and shaped me into the hardworking devoted person I am today. So… remember that next time you are brought down the situation is going to mold you into a better person. These animals are the key to our futures and even when the sad things like this happen we are still learning through the process. It may seem like losing just a pig is not such a big deal but these animals are family too. As my mom always says “never sweat the small stuff, enjoy life and keep putting one foot in front of the other.” So next time you hit a bump in the road remember that its going to help better you for your future and instead of sulking about it and just wishing it would all end, get up and be positive even when its tough!