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The Manure Spreader: I know I am a farmer

Tim Moffett Published on 17 January 2014

Someone once asked me, “Tim, what’s the difference between a farmer and a redneck?” It’s simple: As a farmer, I have a truck parked in front of my house. A redneck has a truck parked on blocks in front of his house. If the truck on blocks is your house – you, my friend, are a hillbilly.

I learned about life on the farm in so many different ways. It was an education. If you told the typical kid these days that their food came from the earth, they would tell you they have never heard of that store.

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Heck, when I was a kid, I didn’t even know you could buy eggs at the store. Where would they keep the chickens? In the back? How many times have I choked on a glass of milk because no one took the cream off the top?

The only time I ever tasted my mom’s award-winning blueberry pie was when I bought a piece at the church social. But we also did some really cool things like when my grandpa taught me how to make gasoline out of corn – and you could drink it.

Let’s face it, farmers are different. Not better, not worse – just different. I’m not saying we are unsocial, but I sure don’t give a hoot about “Housewives of some city,” “Kartrashians” or “Honey Doo Doo.” I do enjoy the occasional episode of “What Not To Wear.”

Unless a farmer’s wife has picked out the clothes he’s gonna wear, it’s usually very easy to recognize another person in agriculture without even knowing them. Around town he’s wearing faded jeans, some type of boots and a sun-faded shirt.

For those special occasions like church, weddings or kids’ graduations, same look, just a brand-new, out of the box, never-been-washed pair of jeans. Add to the ensemble a plaid shirt your wife made you wear so she could keep an eye on you from a distance and know that no other woman in the room would take a second look at you.

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Plaid shirts are like an urban camouflage for farming husbands. Next time at the church picnic, watch how we tend to group up together. From a distance, we look like a large off-color couch moving as one. I didn’t have time to look up the history of plaid, but I’m pretty sure it was invented by a farmer’s wife.

In fact, I’m almost certain it was invented on a dare right after the farmer’s wife heard him say, “Ahh, just get me anything and I’ll wear it.” I believe plaid to be the first of a trifecta, followed by suspenders and cold weather onesies with a flap in the back.

I have a tendency to just throw on a shirt and head out the door. Sometimes I forget and do this when traveling to shows. I don’t realize what I’ve done until I’m in the airport and people are giving me really strange stares of disgust.

It’s then I notice I’m wearing a shirt from California Bander which said, ”Castrate Early, Castrate Often.” Good thing I was in Des Moines and not San Francisco.

Yes, my friends, we are a different breed. As different as we may be, be proud of knowing you are a farmer. PD

Share the ways that you Know You’re a Farmer. Fill in the comment section at Tim Moffett's website.

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