Let’s face it. Unless you’re a grandparent, babysitting stinks! The ‘ole grandparent saying is …“We love to babysit because we know when their parents are coming to pick them up.”
It was terrible being the middle child of 11 kids because you knew eventually you were going to be big enough to be called upon to babysit. And I contest that babysitting your siblings is the absolute worst job you can have growing up … (next to doing laundry, dishes, poop-patrol in the yard, and cleaning your bedroom). Why is it the worst? Because you are the bad guy. It’s like that substitute teacher that everybody gives grief to. You become fresh meat that the dogs are just waiting to fight over.
So in recent interview for our TV show you can imagine my reaction when a farmer said to me that he was …”babysitting his crops.” Aside from all the questions regarding why he considered that part of his job as “babysitting” I couldn’t help but get caught up in the obvious debate of finding a way to make a relationship between poopy diapers and spreading manure. So I responded with a new term and called it “crop-sitting”.
This past planting season had every grain farmer crop-sitting. Hot to warm to cold to warm temperatures that included dry to wet to wet to wet to dry conditions was about as bad as chasing a two-year-old around the house after snack time.
But let’s face it. Our farmers wear so many hats from mechanic, to part-time vet, agronomist, to truck driver, environmentalist to activist, engineer to business manager, nutritionist to scientist — why not throw in crop-sitter?
The growing season is much like raising a child (OK ladies, not quite the same same, but bare with me). Pre-emergence is like toddlers carefully holding hands and yet having the courage to walk away once it’s been planted and sent off to school. Emergence and stand establishment is like that elementary school — the plants are off and running and growing bigger every day. Pollination is like trying to avoid the stresses related to continued growth. And in high school the grain fill stage is where those minds full of mush become stronger and stronger.
Harvest is our graduation if you will — as our proud parents march the fruits of their labor off to bigger and better things.
So here’s to our crop-sitters — our farmers. And to everything they do to ensure the growth and development of what becomes the food and fiber that feeds our communities, our state and this great country of ours.
(Still searching for a poopy diaper/spreading manure analogy — but one I come up with one I’ll let you know).
Here’s seeing you, in Ohio Country!
The writer is an award-winning veteran broadcaster for more than 30 years.