“You can’t have the family farm without the family.”- Gilbert K. Chesterton
Roots run deep for American families and our farms, that’s why as a country we’ve been able to keep passing the torch down through generations. The majority of farms in America today are amazingly, still family owned and operated.
We cannot separate our love for the land and love for family…they are one in the same. When we successfully sow seeds of love and passion for agriculture within one of our own, it is a dream come true.
Although we can never guarantee our children will end up catching the farming “love bug”, we can do our best to get them involved on the farm at a young age. We can gift them with a deep understanding of where food comes from, and hopefully foster a love for farming that won’t be too soon to die.
They say a farmer’s best virtue is patience, and that goes double fold when your farming with children in tow. It can sometimes be a challenge when your working to build a farm AND your family, but once you figure out the logistics, it’s a perfect match every time.
Here’s three tips to keep your kids involved on the farm and loving agriculture:
Build Their Confidence With Chores
You can easily boost your child’s confidence and help them build a love for farm life and the work that goes along with it by giving them their own responsibilities on the farm or homestead.
Start by assigning your kids certain chores that they can enjoy and that aren’t too challenging for them. Maybe they like collecting the eggs or dishing out feed to the chickens? Get your children involved in some of your own farm projects as well, even though it will take you a little longer to complete them.
Allowing kids the opportunity to accomplish a “farm” task on a daily basis and contribute to the family farm will do wonders for their self esteem . Before long they’ll start creating challenges for themselves and taking on more responsibilities with a little more confidence.
Implement Some of Your Child’s Own Ideas To Your Farm or Homestead:
The beauty of farming is that it’s incredibly diverse and there’s usually something for everyone. By implementing some of your children’s ideas to the farm, your giving them a little piece of it and truly solidifying those agricultural roots.
A children’s garden is a great way to get kids involved in growing food on the farm. Not only will it give kids a hands on understanding of where food comes from, it will show them how being committed can pay off in the long run.
This is a good place to give your kids free reign and allow them to learn and troubleshoot the variables of planting and growing all on their own. Once they get to experience that first harvest in their very own garden, they may just be hooked for life!
Celebrate Farmers & Promote A Future For Agriculture
There’s no doubt that the labors of farm life can be challenging, both physically and mentally exhausting at times. Raising a family requires the same amount of endurance, it’s a true labor of love. How the next generation views agriculture is all up to us.
Children are incredibly receptive and impressionable, therefore, it is absolutely vital for the future of agriculture that we celebrate the labors of farming and give gratitude where it’s due.
For years now agriculture has taken a backseat and rarely presented to younger generations as a viable and acceptable occupation or way of life. It is our job to celebrate agriculture across the board and let it be known that farming is a noble way of life.
Take opportunities to share your own love for farming with your kids, let them hear it from your mouth why you LOVE agriculture, and what kind of role it’s played in your life. Most importantly, lead your children in showing love and gratitude to the many other farmers out there.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. It also takes a farmer to feed a village, so let’s raise more farmers!