Thoughts from a Harvester (not a HarvestHER)

    After reading a post recently on Facebook, I started thinking, “What have I learned from harvest and why do I do this”?

    I thought I would jot a few things down. I figured it might help me understand more of why I do what I do. A kind of therapy, I guess. I have something here that I know I can add to as time goes on. Something I can look at when needed as a reminder. The learning never stops, the list will always change – probably daily – and get longer with new experiences, right? It makes you stop and think about the crazy life we love.

    WHAT HARVEST HAS TAUGHT ME…in no certain order, of course:

    To do an excellent job for your customer. Their happiness and a good job finished will give you the ultimate satisfaction. Be a part of their farm plan to help make them profitable.

    Teach a few guys each year what I know about harvest and life. Hopefully, it helps change their lives so they can be the best at what they do, no matter what that may be. To build life-long friendships with many kids from another part of the world who come to the United States knowing nothing about what they’re getting into. Maybe being that Dad to them – if they need it.

    Greet your employees (and anyone) each day with a hand shake and a “Good Morning”!! Everyone’s day starts better this way! Say “Please” and “Thank you”…it’s respectful and polite. I learned these two items of real importance from the gentlemen fro South Africa!

    Never expect your employees to do something you wouldn’t or couldn’t do yourself. But try hard at all things!

    To run the combine (it’s about doing the best job with that machine) and do a better job than the next guy! My competitive side I guess! Doing with that machine what my Dad taught me and making it better.

    Don’t let others try to tell you how to run your business…they may have alternative motives.

    Visit with the people that have become good friends or acquaintances over the past 5 decades. They won’t always be here. People that have seen me grow up from a little boy, to me seeing them age or ripen like the wheat, to seeing them pass on, like harvest! I’ve never thought about it that way before until now. Some go too soon and it crushes the hopes and dreams of family and friends, while others live their full life like a crop aging to harvest. Those of us that have grown up doing this have sprouted, have continued to grow and age, have been taken care of by the Lord and will someday be a part of the Lord’s ultimate harvest! Strange way to look at it, I guess, but true!

    To help another good harvester get a job. This is satisfying – especially if they appreciate it! Some will…some won’t!

    Never do it for the money. You’ll find yourself rushing through the job and a poor job will spread like wildfire in this business! Money you EARN pays bills and helps you become a more giving person. Greed will create a person you don’t want to become and lead to a poor reputation, as well as self destruction. Take it one acre at a time and reap all that has been sown. You’ll feel better at the end of the day! You know, “An honest day’s work”!

    Breakdowns, accidents, injuries and bad days will happen but how you react and face the situation will show your true character. Many times in the past, I didn’t do well. I failed miserably!! The Lord has helped me improve on this!!

    I’ve been learning over the past 5 years that I’m NOT in control; faith in God is a must! I have to ask for His help with handling the stress, the anxiety, the fears and the worries! I also thank him for EVERYTHING! He gives me what I need…that’s all I ask for. Without a really TRUE friend, I wouldn’t have learned this! He’ll keep the work in front of you if you let Him be the one in control.

    A true friend will make your world a better place – all of the time.  I don’t have family with me at harvest time. Quite often a daily chat with a true friend that has an understanding of what I try to do each day HELPS me get through the struggles each day. I hope I’m that good of a true friend to others! True friends are priceless. There’s no replacing them. They’re a gift from God! They know that sometimes your life is in the pits and they do what they can to pull you out of that hole. They’re awesome!

    It’s taught me about trust – know when to walk away! Very few people you meet will be a trusted friend. Trust wisely! Make good choices!

    Think about what you’re going to say before you say ANYTHING!! Very important! (I have a hard time with this.) Don’t yell! (Getting better at this! A lot better!) Remember, if you’re tired, they’re tired too!

    Each spring we prepare for harvest much like the birth of a child! We get everything ready for its arrival and then it’s here and we do our best!! Harvest goes fast, like life. When it’s over for the year it’s actually depressing, like losing someone you love! You mourn that it’s over and you celebrate the season, the new and renewed friendships, what God gave us.

    And it’s okay to cry!