It popped in my head as I was standing in the kitchen, whipping up the last breakfast for the chopping crew, and two boys burst through the door to give me the update on chopping and their whereabouts. I was smirking to myself, thinking about their peers indoors at school on this beautiful fall day, and here they are getting ready to cover the bunker. These kids are nuts. They knew exactly the level of ‘fun’ they were going to have by taking the ‘stay home and help’ option today. Dane was the only one out of the five boys who opted for school. He doesn’t enjoy being behind on anything, and prefers advanced warning to absences if he can help it. So, I’m standing at the stove and I hear Jeff Foxworthy’s voice in my head, chuckling, saying ‘you might be a farmkid if….’. So I grabbed my pen. I would bet some of these may fit your children as well.
    You might be a farmkid if….
    …skipping school to help finish chopping corn silage, shovel screenings, hold down multiple layers of plastic, and throw hundreds of tires sounds like a vacation.
    …you are pumped that your seventeenth birthday falls during corn silage so you can spend your day in the tractor hauling loads (Julie!).
    …a ride in the chopper with Ray Baby or in the silage truck with Uncle Peter is far better than a ride at the fair.
    …your schedule of life revolves around chopping hay, chopping corn, bow season, high moisture corn, and gun season, and somewhere in there you squeeze in football and schoolwork.
    …you willingly pack the pile because from that vantage point you can spy deer behind the house and way down by the woods.
    …you get free time at school and use it to draw detailed pictures of farm equipment, which you then use to educate your teacher on how it works.
    …you get excited at the first sounds of the silage trucks ‘comin’ in hot!’
    …you are four years old and elated to discover that some of the letters in your very own name are on the side of the silage trucks.
    …you can recite the ‘number names’ of every tractor and truck on the chopping crew at whim, but if asked what you did at school today, you draw a complete blank.
    …you easily memorize the order of trucks dumping on the pile and report if someone falls out of rotation from your station in the sandbox.
    …you know your mother will tell you 500 times a day to be safe.
    …you know that it makes your mom awfully happy when you tell her that all the men on the crew said thanks for the food that you had to deliver.
    …you know who is driving the silage trucks by the sound of the Jake brake and the speed at which they enter and leave the driveway.
    …the excitement of the poop boat arriving ranks up there with Easter and Christmas.
    …getting the latest Tractor House magazine is used as a bribe to get through the grocery store without incident.
    …you draw such anatomically correct pictures of animals at age four that it causes some nonfarm human’s eyebrows to raise in a concerned manner that says ‘she may know way too much for her age.’
    …your modes of transportation on the farm seem to get more horsepower as you age: bikes, lawnmowers, the Ghost, the 200. (At any given moment all modes are being used to move boys from point A to point B).
    …when asked what you did this summer, your instant response is ‘learned how to drive the skid steer to help Peter’.
    …when told the neighbor’s heifers are here for a visit and we need to go chase them, you hop on your lawnmowers and throw dust. Think of pint-sized versions of Bo and Luke Duke on Cub Cadets instead of in a Dodge Charger.
    …you have to inspect all of your clothing for manure and grease stains before wearing it in public.
    …you proudly wear a shirt that says ‘Born to Farm, Forced to go to School’ once a week, every single week of the school year.
    Jacqui and her family milk 800 cows and run 1,200 acres of crops in the northeastern corner of Vernon County, Wisconsin. Her children, Ira (14), Dane (12), Henry (7) and Cora (4), help her on the farm while her husband, Keith, works on a grain farm. If she’s not in the barn, she’s probably in the kitchen, trailing after little ones, or sharing her passion of reading with someone. Her life is best described as organized chaos – and if it wasn’t, she’d be bored.