Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, so we asked our blogging team and some of our partners to tell us what they love about farming and farmers.
"I love farmers because they are the epitome of the REAL American cowboy! They get to play with tractors, combines, and animals; and wear jeans and boots to work every day. Days are long and the nights are short, but without them we would be in a world of hurt! Thanks to all our farmer friends!"
– Matt Ondrejko
Vice President Global Marketing
"I love the freedom of farming. Being able to be your own boss."
– Cole Fredrick
"Though I have been blessed to travel and fall in love with many places around the globe, I chose to settle in our small, rural, Midwest town. I credit much of that decision to the farming roots that our community was originally built on. I feel that it is because of those roots that most in our town still acknowledge family, hard work, dedication, and a commitment to our community as the things we treasure most. Having spent a lot of time at a few of our local farms while growing up and into my adult years, I feel lucky that many of my favorite memories revolve around time spent in the fields around nature and animals. And, I laugh at some of my funniest memories also made on those properties… running frantically from momma cows while learning about their protective nature, the face of the farmer when I ground every gear on his tractor while learning how to drive it, having to be pulled out of quick mud by a 4-wheeler when we thought arrowhead hunting in the creek was a great idea just hours after flood waters receded, and many more.
"These experiences have all implanted a love of nature and exploration that I hope to pass on to my son as he grows, and they are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many other reasons why I love farmers. I love them for the gorgeous scenery they provide to us when traveling our roads and for the amazingly rich scents we get to enjoy after they till their land. I love them for the education they provide to our youth through their open houses, tours, and programs; and for the fresh foods they bring to us in our farmer markets and grocery stores. Finally, I love them, because they are the backbone of our nation. About 2 percent of our population grows and harvests – through back-breaking work, frigid cold, and dangerous heat – the resources that the remaining 98 percent of us get to enjoy at ease. This Valentine’s, I’d like to thank our farmers, for being 'ours!'"
– Vanessa Z. Hargrave
Director of Marketing, Advantage PressurePro
"I love the fact that growers are taking water conservation more seriously. Thank you, growers, all around the world!"
– Michelle Stolte
Global Marketing Manager
"Farmers are the unsung heroes, the true superstars of this great nation. They get up before dawn, work till dusk, and spend their entire lives feeding the world without expecting the praise they so rightfully deserve. I do what I do because I love the farming industry and the privilege of working with the most amazing people on the planet!"
– Julie Bushell
Director of Sales and Marketing, Paige Electric
"I LOVE my grandparents – they have spent their lives as farmers in farming communities – and I couldn’t be prouder of them.
"I love that farming connects people around the world and provides common ground for people who may have nothing else that makes them similar.
"I love that the cacao plant is harvested year round (Yay for chocolate!)."
– Brooke Stover
Global Marketing Coordinator
"What do I 'love' about farmers or farming? Well, I 'love' how we in business and marketing force these tortured connections just to get a blog post! Seriously, I do LOVE one farmer—my lovely, wonderful wife. In addition, for me there is a never-ending fascination (yes, I might even stretch it to “strong friendship”) with the beauty and wonder of life that is repeated every year in my fields. To see a bunch of shriveled little seeds dropped into the soil and emerge, then grow into towering plants is a true miracle. I feel a deep affinity for this process, which produces our food and fiber. It reminds me constantly how richly the Lord has blessed us."
– Kelly Downing
Global Irrigation Specialist
"I admittedly didn’t grow up on a farm, but I have grown to absolutely love farming through my experiences working for Valley Irrigation. Farming is the heart of humanity’s existence; without it, we wouldn’t have food, clothing, or livelihoods. I love farming because it literally keeps our hearts alive."
– Kelly Cox
Global Digital Marketing Manager
"I love that so many family farmers have persevered. It breaks my heart to drive by abandoned windbreaks where you just know a farmstead once stood."
– Shannon Peterson
Marketing Content Editor