Growing up, my siblings and I were always busy. There was something to do all the time. Between paper routes and regular house choirs, I always managed to find time to play sports and study. We never called it multitasking back then. What I do recall is my grandma telling us, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” Maybe that’s why I like to stay busy even today.
The other part of that quote from Proverbs is “idle lips are his mouthpiece.” Maybe that’s why I work in broadcasting and communications.
Multitasking is a choice for me. But for farmers it’s a way of life. Working hard and putting in more than 40 hours a weeks is normal on the farm. And what’s more amazing are the number of farmers who have jobs off the farm. That’s multitasking! My friend Alan Davis is one of those men. How he finds time to do our television show is amazing. He has his farm, livestock, insurance business, numerous employees, father of three grown boys, on several boards and service clubs — he is nonstop. I know his wife, Diane, would like to see more of him.
It was over 30 years ago while working for WAXC-92 when I first met Alan and it was back then when I remember doing a newscast reporting about expansions by Honda in our area. They were investing in more facilities here. I will never forget how management for Honda kept praising the workforce here. They said it was the “agrarian-work effort” of the people here that encouraged them to expand.
So what does that mean? It means that the farm boys and girls around here know how to get things done! That’s right. Punching that clock for Honda or for any other business meant that you were going to give that company 110 percent — just like on the farm — be consistent and loyal and work hard for the company. Some farmers I’ve spoke with that work full time for various businesses in our area would say that work off the farm may be the easiest part of their day or may be even a slight distraction for what awaits them every day back on the farm.
The agrarian work effort also means taking those hard lessons and experiences from the farm into other jobs. I ran into an old pig farmer the other day, and although he probably isn’t thought of by many as a pig farmer, Rick Bowersock is still one of hardest-working guys I know. He is a hard-working teacher, coach and mentor to many and was one of the toughest coaches I knew when I was a basketball official.
(Heck, he was tough on us when was I broadcasting the games!)
But Rick is one of the many, many people who grew up on a farm, work in other areas, and still calls himself a farmer. His resume includes Wapakoneta City Schools, Spencerville and University of Northwestern Ohio. But after talking with him the other day I think the one thing he is most proud of is being called farmer. His parents had other jobs while owning the farm, too — so there you go.
I only mention these guys as examples of the type of people around us here in west-central Ohio — men and women — multitaskers, hard workers, committed to their jobs, committed to their communities, loyal people — people I’m proud to call friends — and who are proud to call themselves farmers.
Here’s seeing you, in Ohio Country!
The writer is the owner of Wilson 1 Communications. He is an award-winning veteran broadcaster for more than 30 years and the co-host and producer of “In Ohio Country Today,” a nationally recognized television show, and offers radio commentary and ag reports including locally for 92.1, the Frog WFGF Lima.