Farming life is one that takes passion and patience. Those who grew up farming know that it is a lifestyle, not just a career. Waking up before dawn, and tending to the crops until well after the sun goes down is something these farmers know well. Peanut farmers are no exception to this idea. Kathy and Monty Henson both know the life of farming. They know that it is not just a career but it is instead, their passion.
“Tough times call for tough people, farming is about helping each other out. When someone is sick or needs to leave town, we help them. You won’t be able to make every tee ball game, but those moments are important and we are a like a family…we work when we help each other,” said Kathy Henson.
Kathy and Monty have been farming as a team and growing peanuts since 1997. They said raising a family in a farming lifestyle can teach children characteristics that are important for their future. Not only do they know the basics of work ethic and discipline, but as Kathy said about her children, “They know how much their jeans cost and what it took to make them.”
The next generations are going to be the ones to stand up for agriculture and if they know how hard farmers work, from watching mom and dad put their heart into the soil, it makes their voice so much louder.
“When you’re working with peanuts, every step is important. You have to take it slow and go through your check list to make sure you don’t miss a single part of the process,” said Monty.
Monty said if you miss a watering or are late in weed protection, the whole crop could suffer making the hours of hard work produce nothing. Farming requires patience and adaptability; especially in the West Texas region where the weather is unpredictable.
There has also been flooding in the East Texas regions that caused some farmers to get a late start on planting or required farmers to pray for sunshine to get the water out of their fields. These factors, along with unpredictability of Mother Nature, make farming a practice that one must be passionate about. If one is not wholeheartedly dedicated to the crop, it could be easy to give up after hail destroys a cotton field or a windstorm cracks the soil.
Farmers like Kathy and Monty put their heart into what they do and work every day for a crop that feeds people all over the world. Farmers plant hundreds of acres of crops so that there will be peanut butter on our sandwiches. We sometimes take for granted the passion and dedication these men and women put in to making food, clothes, and items we use every day, all while using limited resources. Farmers are the backbone of this country and don’t just farm for a career, they farm because it is a way of living, and a way of building a family.
As Paul Harvey said, “It had to be somebody who’d plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed, and brake, and disk, and plow, and plant, and tie the fleece and strain the milk, . Somebody who’d 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 he wants to spend his life doing what Dad does. “So God made a farmer.””