And on the 8th day....

Stanstead Journal - - LEN NOXVILLE NEWS - Stephanie Anna Ruf Spe­cial col­lab­o­ra­tion

One

day a year, for the past thir­teen years, more than hun­dred Farms in Que­bec open their doors to welcome ev­ery­one and any­one in­ter­ested in learn­ing about farm­ing. This gives the town folk of all ages a chance to see and smell the won­ders of farm life.

Just here in the Eastern Town­ships there were 10 lo­ca­tions to visit, from Ap­ple or­chard to Dairy farms to Honey, there was no short­age of en­ter­tain­ment and in­for­ma­tion. Along with games, demon­stra­tions and more, you could also try the prod­ucts made on­site.

Now a days, pretty much all we see on TV is the bad go­ing on, the open house event cre­ated by Que­bec's UPA is a great op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple to see the other side, and to calm the per­cep­tions of some cit­i­zens about an­i­mal wel­fare and en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues. Take for ex­am­ple MarieTherese Bon­ni­chon and De­nis Car­rier from Ferme Au Pied Leve who wel­comed about 1,400 visi­tors. As peo­ple left their farm, the gen­eral com­ments were, they love their

an­i­mals! This farm lo­cated in Ma­gog was happy to open their doors for the first time this year and talk "farm­ing" with guests. They may be a small scale op­er­a­tion and will not feed the whole world how­ever their ways and val­ues are im­por­tant and should be shared by all.

Even though this year the open house gen­er­ated less visi­tors, ev­ery­one was pleased with the out­come and the Eastern Town­ships had the high­est over­all per farm visi­tors.

Agri­cul­ture is a must, with­out farm­ing, we do not eat. It seems some for­get where their "steak" comes from, or would rather just pre­tend not to know. What about that won­der­ful corn on the cob, it's great is it not? Just re­mem­ber, a Farmer sat on his trac­tor, tiled the land, planted the seed and then cul­ti­vated it for you to be able to en­joy it with but­ter and salt. What about the milk you are giv­ing your chil­dren, the milk that is mak­ing their bones grow strong. A farmer got up early, ev­ery sin­gle day and went to milk those cows. Farm­ing is a 24 hour 7 days a week job. You do not get Hol­i­days off, you do not get two weeks off in sum­mer to just lay on the beach and get a tan. In­stead, you work even harder in sum­mer to make hay for your an­i­mals, go­ing from dawn to dusk. For­get birth­day par­ties, or pool par­ties, the only thing they get is a Farmer's Tan! Grow­ing up on a farm, I had the priv­i­lege to learn to re­spect an­i­mals, big or small. To re­spect and ap­pre­ci­ated what they give us. Of course it's a hard re­al­ity when you re­al­ize that the lit­tle calf you raise and bot­tle fed will now be some­ones meal. You know the old Chi­nese Proverb, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a life­time." This says it all. In the 1960's, a Farmer fed just 26 peo­ple. To­day, the av­er­age Farmer feeds 155 peo­ple.

I ask you to­day, and ev­ery day, when you drive by on the 143 and plug your nose be­cause it smells like ma­nure, say thank you Farmer, for giv­ing us BA­CON, Thank you Farmer for giv­ing us Flour, Thank you Farmer for giv­ing us eggs.

Should my words not be enough to con­vince you that Farm­ing is an im­por­tant part of our lives, here is a decades-old speech

from a con­ser­va­tive ra­dio broad­caster Paul Har­vey that again be­came fa­mous by a truck com­pany in a su­per bowl com­mer­cial.

And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned par­adise and said, "I need a care­taker." So God made a farmer.

God said, "I need some­body will­ing to get up be­fore dawn, milk cows, work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past mid­night at a meet­ing of the school board." So God made a farmer.

"I need some­body with arms strong enough to rus­tle a calf and yet gen­tle enough to de­liver his own grand­child. Some­body to call hogs, tame can­tan­ker­ous ma­chin­ery, come home hun­gry, have to wait lunch un­til his wife's done feed­ing vis­it­ing ladies and tell the ladies to be sure and come back real soon -- and mean it." So God made a farmer.

God said, "I need some­body will­ing to sit up all night with a new­born colt. And watch it die. Then dry his eyes and say, 'Maybe next year.' I need some­body who can shape an ax han­dle from a per­sim­mon sprout, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, who can make har­ness out of hay­wire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. And who, plant­ing time and harvest sea­son, will fin­ish his forty-hour week by Tues­day noon, then, pain'n from ' trac­tor back,' put in another seventy-two hours." So God made a farmer.

God had to have some­body will­ing to ride the ruts at dou­ble speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop in mid-field and race to help when he sees the first smoke from a neigh­bor's place. So God made a farmer.

God said, "I need some­body strong enough to clear trees and heave bails, yet gen­tle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-combed pul­lets, who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the bro­ken leg of a meadow lark. It had to be some­body who'd plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Some­body to seed, weed, feed, breed and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk and re­plen­ish the self­feeder and fin­ish a hard week's work with a five-mile drive to church.

"Some­body who'd bale a fam­ily to­gether with the soft strong bonds of shar­ing, who would laugh and then sigh, and then re­ply, with smil­ing eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life ' do­ing what dad does.'" So God made a farmer.

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