The value of farming


Doug Mears with his farmhand, Jackson Harter, in front of semi tractor.

Emily Mears, staff writer

Monday Oct. 12 was National Farmers Day, a day to offer well deserved praise to the men and women who help shape our country every day. Carroll County, a largely agricultural area, has farmers scattered all around the county, some within our school, such as sophomore Jackson Harter. 


Jackson Harter has been farming for the past five years, spending the past seven months working for Doug Mears, third generation farmer and co-owner of Chances R Farms. For Jackson, the love of farming started young. Seeing the love for this career in his dad’s eye is what he claims to be one of his biggest influences. Similar to Jackson, Doug Mears had a similar story to share involving who got him hooked on farming. “My dad put the love of farming in me,” he stated, “He worked alongside his brothers and the closeness they all had with each other [inspired me].”


Just like any career, there are some negatives to farming. To those like Jackson, it might be waking up before the sun, multiple days in a row, to make sure you’re ready to start the days tasks on time. For others, like Doug, it’s how much is out of your control, making it harder to make a profit some years.  Many challenges await farmers every year. Early frost, drought, too much rain, wind, storms, or simply bad seed can take a negative toll on the outcome for the season. Yet, farmers continue to preserve, finding and making new ways to overcome these obstacles Mother Nature throws at them. 


“The reason I farm is hard to explain. It is working with a family, watching a crop grow that you planted and cared for, and every year is different which makes that exciting, plus we love working with the animals.” Explained Doug, showing the lighter side in the sea of negatives. 


“The friendships and memories you make along the way [is the best part]. There’s nothing like the feeling of the end of a harvest season or end of a turn of hogs.” Jackson explained. 


Farming is more than a career to these men and women, it is a foundation on which their values grow. It is a place for them to learn things that can only be learned through first-hand experience. “I think farming is one of the most important jobs in the world, so I think farmers should be respected by everyone.” Jackson commented on behalf of his values. “Farming isn’t for everyone, and it’s certainly not an easy job, so us farmers and farm hands deserve a lot of credit we don’t get, in my opinion.” Doug agrees and adds that you have to value patience to make it as a farmer, and trust in the Lord. 


Not everyone is born to farm, but we can all make a positive difference. “The one thing I think I would pass to the next generation would be to treat people the way you want to be treated, be fair, and take care of the resources and land you have. We are just caretakers while we are here and try to leave it better for the next generation.” Doug said.