People often ask me this question after we strike up a conversation. Most of them are curious as to why a young person would choose to live and work on a farm when they could live in a big city or earn a college education.
All of us farmers have varying reasons for why we chose this occupation, but for me it is more than a job or livelihood; this practice of farming, which nurtures the earth, animals, and people, is a way of life.
Having been first taught conventional farming methods, I have a deep appreciation for the grass-based, beyond-organic farming practices that are lived out every day at Polyface Farm. Here are a few reasons why I farm:
Healing the land: Through years of skillful grazing management, the land is being healed with increasing amounts of organic matter, earthworm activity, and fertility, which boosts grass growth and pasture stability.
Raising happy animals: By growing in an environment that mimics nature, animals are able to fully express their natural behavior and way of living, which makes them happy and healthy.
Nourishing people: Food from pastured animals contain healthy nutrients, minerals, and good fats & proteins, not to mention excellent flavor!
Good, hard work: Farming requires long hours of hard physical labor, but the work is good and fulfilling, and keeps us active and strong.
Community: The people that I am blessed to work with every day enrich my life; they provide the support and community that keep us all motivated and energized. The positive, encouraging attitudes here are a blessing!
Spiritual fulfillment: Psalms 24:1 says "The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it." Being able to care for what God has entrusted us with is a noble and rewarding lifestyle.
How about you? Why do you love your lifestyle?