“Whoever does not have a good father should procure one.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
“My dad was my best friend and greatest role model. He was an amazing dad, coach, mentor, soldier, husband and friend.” – Tiger Woods
“When it comes to Father’s Day, I will remember my dad for both being there to nurture me and also for the times he gave me on my own to cultivate my own interests and to nurture my own spirit.” – Jennifer Grant
I suppose that looks like an odd combination of people to quote – a scholar with some interesting, provocative views on the world, a world class athlete with some questionable personal issues, and an actress from Beverley Hills 90210.
All are valid quotes though, and I feel that my dad will get a kick out of them once he reads them.
I think it’s probably easier for women in general to write about such things, especially about their fathers. I think just about any of us in the agriculture field was a “daddy’s girl” whether we knew it or not. Some of us while growing up maybe dabbling in ag because it was our father’s hobby, born into a the family business, or we fell into it unexpectedly.
My father grew up in Northeastern Wisconsin into a poor family that subsistence farmed well into the 1960’s. They grew what they needed to survive, had a hodge podge of livestock, and contracted to grow cucumbers for a local pickle company- Bond Pickle Co. that used to be right on the rain system in Oconto, WI.
His love for gardening, hobby farming, and an increased interest in naturalism strengthened over the years and after traveling the world in the military. There were always vegetable gardens and flower beds while I was growing up. He didn’t need anything fancy. He was brought up to work hard and lead by example, and that work ethic showed in his leadership while progressing through the ranks first in the Air Force and then the Navy. He instilled those same traits, work ethics, and mentalities in me.
Over the years he’s focused on rebuilding my family’s property- the natural wildlife population has slowly come back- quail, turkeys, foxes, birds not seen in the area for years, etc. It’s turned into one of his greatest joys. You don’t need to be a “farmer” to appreciate what you can do for the land, and in turn, what the land can give back to you. Imagine his surprise (or, maybe not) when I ended up in the middle of nowhere Nebraska and eventually started a job that no one had ever expected me to do (including myself)- farm and custom harvest.
Even though some of our worldy views may differ, he’s always encouraged me to explore, go out into the world, and find what was right for me. He’s always supported my decisions and yet knew when to stand back and let me make the mistakes we all make when we’re young and stubborn and have our own lessons to learn.
Here’s to the fathers in the world that (tried to) patiently teach all of us while growing up- whether it be in the world of agriculture, driving a stick, rebuilding an engine on a car, complex math equations that we never end up using in real life, changing a tire, their best ways to do certain things.
Here’s the the fathers who work long tiring hours at the office so their wives can be stay at home moms and create more of a traditional/conservative home life.
Here’s to the father’s who are gone for days, weeks, or months on end to provide for their families. Whether be it over the road truck drivers, pilots, military, etc. Sometimes our professions are our choice and what we dreamed of as being little, sometime it’s just purely a job that is financially the best way to selflessly provide. Everyone makes a sacrifice- but our society seems to place the focus of the sacrifice on the mother- let’s not forget about the father.
With that said, let’s not forget about the mother’s for whatever reason are raising their children by themselves and have to fill both parental roles.
And even on the flip side of that- here’s to the single dads that do the equivalent of a single mother and seem to never receive those same accolades.
Here’s to the dad’s who are the stay at home dad’s- being a stay at home parent is no easy task, and here’s to the men that realize that them staying home works the best for their family and situation.
And also, please let’s not forget about the father’s who no longer have their children with them on this Earth. The emotions, feelings, reactions, anger, guilt, etc. all still are very valid to the men who have lost a child. Fathers and men are not immune to this. Take a moment and think of them on this day.
To my daddy: thank you for teaching me about so many things over the years, and I appreciate each day with you, along with all of the sacrifices you made for our family. Our family is blessed to have a hard working, kind, generous soul as our rock.
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