Tony Compagnoni
My father, Tony Compagnoni,on his tractor he named Alice (Allis Chambler), 09/12/1918–11/05/2012 (Wright Family)

By Andrea Compagnoni Wright, Faith Contributor, Valley Ag Voice

I am a farmer’s daughter. Those words mean so much to me. Now, as an adult, I live on a small farm with my husband, Jack. I still think of the farm life I once had as a child. I can remember running through the alfalfa field and chasing butterflies, soaking up sun rays on those hot sunny Bakersfield days, while playing in the irrigation ditches just to keep cool and seeing the newborn calves standing on their wobbly legs.

The childhood memories of growing up on a farm in Pumpkin Center meant there was always something to do. As a kid I loved being outside, playing with the farm animals, getting a ride on my dad’s tractor, and doing farm chores. Being raised without technology, I had to use my imagination. My playground was the field and the farm and that’s where I took my first innocent childhood steps. I was raised with loving parents and an opportunity to be a country girl. I grew up knowing how important everything around me was and that life is a gift from God. 

Growing up on a farm taught me how special it is to connect to God through nature and appreciating His creations. I am the daughter of a farmer. The one God hand-selected to tend to his creation and to feed his people. A farmer wakes up early, preparing his day while watching over his family 365 days of the year. He makes sure that there is food on our tables and clothes on our backs. Farming is anything but desirable with long days and keeping up with Mother Nature. The hard work is done selflessly, with the intent of providing for the family, friends, and others while having the faith and the hands of God guiding them. A farmer friend once said, “If you like to see things grow, do what you love to do, and you will be rewarded by God.” 

According to the Bible, human beings started in the garden with the beginning of Adam and Eve. Genesis 1 2:9, 15 (NIV) tell us that out of nothing, God created the earth and made the farmers the caretakers. 

My favorite farmer’s poem written by Paul Harvey, an American radio broadcaster on ABC News Radio, somewhat reminded me of my father and when I grew up on the farm. 

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, 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 for lunch until his wife’s done feeding visiting ladies, then 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 a harness out of haywire, feed sacks and shoe scraps; who, planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty-hour week by Tuesday noon, and 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 meadowlark.”

—so God made a Farmer.

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 self-feeder and finish a hard week’s work with a five-mile drive to church; somebody who would 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 that I want to spend my life

 ‘doing what dad does’

—so God made a Farmer.

If you are a farmer’s daughter (or son), consider yourself blessed if you were raised on a farm or ranch. I believe that growing up on a farm is extremely beneficial to any child. Growing up a farmer’s daughter, you see things differently. You learn at an early age about the true meaning of life. You were taught life lessons of the love of God, value family and friends and knowing that most everything is a blessing. I am proud to be called a farmer’s daughter. This farmer’s daughter is now a woman, and I know what it takes to make ends meet and how to be self-sufficient. My pride will always be in my faith, family, and farming. For me, farming is much more than an occupation, it’s a way of life. Today, I’m still a farmer’s daughter at heart. 

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