By Matt Reese
This morning, at about 6:30 a.m., my three-year-old son had crawled out of bed and was frantically making the rooster crow on his toy barn. He was doing so with the hope of encouraging the sun to rise. I explained to him that the rooster responds to the rising sun by crowing, not the other way around. He absorbed this message and his wheels started turning (or maybe he was just thinking about breakfast).
A few minutes later, I went outside to do the morning chores as the beautiful pink-hued sun rose up over the rolling rural hills along the horizon. I listened for the crowing rooster from our chicken coop and knew my son was inside doing the same thing.
I often take for granted growing up on a farm, but children who grow up caring for animals and developing a rural work ethic really do have many advantages due to the lessons they learn at this critical time in their lives. We are so blessed to be able to provide this opportunity for our children.
I recently met with a man who told me that his son applied for his first job at a manufacturing company. His son came home from the interview and was asked how it went.
“Well,” the son said, “they offered me the job but they only asked me one question, ‘Have you ever baled hay?’”
The son told the employer that, yes, he had baled hay many times. He was then offered the job.
The many benefits of farm life are hard to put a price tag on and they are hard to quantify through test scores or performance analysis, but they are clearly worthwhile. My three-year-old now understands how a rooster responds to the sun in a way that many adults have never had the chance to understand first hand. This may not help him secure a job one day, but I do know the importance of appreciating a good sunrise and that the benefits of life on a farm are definitely worth crowing about.