That's it. I have been saying this for the last two years since my son was born: He should be raised on a farm. Farm kids are better than city kids. No question.
Most people consider me a city kid. My wife, who grew up in a city of 20 million people, thinks I grew up on a farm. She is wrong. I'm actually a city kid — full of street cred and zero farm cred. I am jealous of people who were raised on a farm.
When you grow up on a farm, you need to work harder. You understand the connection between man and nature. My daughters think food comes from the grocery store. Farm kids need to wake up in the morning and take care of something that is greater than themselves. They are feeding a nation, feeding a world, making the world better. In the city, you complain if you have to park a block away from the cookie dough store.
My wife and I recently attended the Banquet in the Field event planned by Common Ground North Dakota, an organization that brings city folk to the country to teach them about how our food is produced. Carl and Julie Peterson of Peterson Seeds are the main sponsors and hosts, and the event was perfect.
Cris and I were sitting at one of maybe 30 tables, and at each table was a farmer or two. The organizers thought we would not be able to tell the farmers apart from the city slickers, so each farmer had a button that said "Ask me, I am a Farmer." The button actually should have said "I look healthier than you, I am a Farmer," or "I get more activity than you, I am a Farmer" or "You sit at your desk too much. You're lazy and definitely will never be confused for a farmer."
Tony and Sarah Nasello did an amazing job of creating and preparing a feast that was made entirely from North Dakota products. It made me even more convinced I need to raise my lil' guy on a farm. But first, have a few questions for farmers:
When do you decide to wash your pickup? Why do you wash your pickup? Do you ever get tired of the sunsets? Does it ever get too quiet? When your 12-year-old daughter wants an Ariana Grande with an extra pump of bubble gum flavoring from Starbucks, what do you do?
When your 23-year-old daughter from California comes home and you run out of organic toilet paper, where do you get more?
Yes, farming is a way of life. My grandfather Max grew up around agriculture and so did my dad. I think they are better people because of it. I want my boy to be a better person than me, so I think he needs to be raised on a farm. Any takers? How 'bout my 12-year-old daughter? She's the perfect age to be shipped off to a boarding school in Wishek.
Marcil is president and CEO of Forum Communications and publisher of The Forum.