Growing Up on a Farm: 25 Facts About Being a Farm Kid!

This post is dedicated to all you past, present and future farm kids out there. There may not be very many of us, but we truly are  one-of-a-kind. In all honesty, I don’t know of a better way to grow up. Yes, we worked hard. Yes, we can tell stories all day long about our experiences both good and bad. Most importantly, yes we are proud to be farmers’ sons and farmers’ daughters. We are proud to be born and raised farm kids.  We are proud to be future farmers.

There is no doubt….WE REALLY ARE LUCKY!

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There have been several blog posts containing lists being shared on Facebook and Twitter right now. These lists, which deal with topics from growing up in a small town to reasons why you should date a teacher, inspired me to write about the farm kid life. For all you farm kids out there, you know we had a very special upbringing that many do not understand. With this in mind, I decided to come up with 25 truths that most farm kids could relate to in some way.

To me (and I think many will agree), being raised on a farm is a gift and something we should definitely treasure. We learn things that will be with us the rest of our lives. I could literally go on and on about how lucky farm kids really are. Whether you were raised on a farm or are just simply curious about the farm kid life, I hope you enjoy this list I have come up with. Don’t be afraid to smile, laugh and take a trip down memory lane! I know I did :)

20131122-121759.jpg25 Farm Kid Truths….here we go!

1. When you were first asked what you want to be when you grow up, you could not think of anything other than a farmer. Duh! 

2. Yeah, those Hot Wheels, Barbie Dolls, Nintendo’s were all oh so cool. BUT nothing compared to your farm toys and figurines. Those John Deere tractors, plastic hay bales, plastic cows, horses, trucks, etc. They were your favorites that you played with ALL the time.

3. No Christmas list was complete without those farming toys. Ertl farm sets, more toy tractors, more farm animals…you needed to make your “farm” bigger.

4. No matter how hard your mom tried for you to have “good clothes” and “chore clothes,” and/or “good shoes” and “chore shoes,” everything you had turned into clothes you got dirty outside. Your excuse? “Sorry mom, I forgot…”

5. You learned some of the most random things…most of the time, the hard way. Examples?? You learned that if you got stuck in the mud while wearing your muck boots, you better just stay put and wait for help. You learned that your parents weren’t kidding when they said the fence was “hot.” You learned to avoid crawling through or over barbed wire fences. You learned that no matter how “cute” little mice looked or how tempting it was to pick one up to tease your sibling(s) with, those suckers would bite if you messed with them. You learned where not to hold a bottle when bottle feeding a baby calf. This list could go on and on. 20131122-121739.jpg

6. Here are some of the rules you were given when you went and played outside. Don’t go to the road, don’t go near the bull, if you open a gate then you better shut it, do not turn on/operate any piece of equipment, DON”T GO TOO FAR,, don’t hurt your brother/sister, blah blah blah. We all heard it.

7. You learned at a very young age that you needed to pray every day. Granted, yes we need to do that every single day. However, you prayed for things most kids would not even think about. You prayed for rain during a drought. You prayed for a good harvest. You prayed for sunshine when hay needed to be made. You prayed for your animals. You understood just how important faith in farming is.

8. The worse forms of punishments in fact were not getting spanked. The worse forms of punishment included picking rocks out of dirt lots and walking through fields with a feed sack and scissors cutting thistles. Even worse than that? Being told to stay in the house. Ughhhh!!!!!

9. You have been chased by a chicken, bucked off a horse, cut by a barb-wire fence, kicked by a cow, fallen face first in mud, fell out of a tree and/or have fallen off a tractor/truck/trailer (just to name a few) on a few occasions. Funny thing is, it did not slow you down one bit. 1016244_10201392292111296_1643819930_n

10. You did not open your Christmas gifts on Christmas morning or go trick-or-treating on Halloween until all the chores were done. And you did not complain about it.

11.  The best bonding time with your daddy came from sitting on his lap in the tractor. You seriously felt like the luckiest kid alive. What made you feel even luckier? Riding with your daddy in the combine! Also, let’s face it. Whatever your daddy’s favorite kind of tractor was, well it was yours too.

12. Your momma cooked the best home-cooked meals. She was the best at making those daily bumps, scrapes and bruises that we would always get all better. She could get manure and oil stains out of anything. She could then go outside run a tractor, haul cattle to town, tend to a sick calf, haul hay and back a trailer just as good (or sometimes even better) than your daddy and the other farm hands could.

untitled13. Hay season, planting, chopping, etc. were like mini Christmases to you. You could ride in the tractor all day long, your meals were brought out to you, you could even stay up past your bedtime sometimes…

14. Yes, we had our swing sets, trampolines, sand boxes, etc. However, those were not the coolest things to play with. The coolest things were round bales, livestock trailers, piles of seed, skipping rocks at the pond  and stuff like that. Now that was fun!

15. You could operate equipment, drive a tractor, drive the farm truck and run the 4-wheeler at a very young age. (I won’t exactly specify what age this is, but let’s just say it is way before the age of 15.)

16. You could tell if a cow was calving by the age of eight. You got to see more live animal births of any kids in your class. Once again, cool kid status reached! While we are on the subject, you could tell if an animal was sick. You could determine how crops were doing. You could count hay bales during hay season. You knew a great deal about medicines, fertilizers and other farming practices. You were that smart.

17. You have had the opportunity to see more sunrises and more sunsets than most kids your age did. That is pretty cool.sunset

18. You had manners and learned to respect your elders. You learned the importance of listening and following instructions. You quickly learned the value of a dollar. You just learned lesson after lesson day after day.

19. You strongly disliked going to school sometimes because you could not stand to be locked up inside. You’d much rather be outside working on the farm, no matter how it was like outside. It would literally drive you insane. (Sidenote, all of your projects/assignments somehow incorporated farming into them.)

20. You had that one animal: One dog, one cat, one cow, one horse, one something that was your buddy and at the time, your best friend. That special animal is one you will never forget.

21. Your senior pictures, prom pictures, graduation pictures, etc. have a tractor, truck, FFA jacket and/or livestock in them more than once.200592_1002209537548_6788_n

22. You were proud to be a member of 4-H and/or FFA.

23. The older you got, the more responsibilities and chores you were given. No we were not slaves of our parents. No we were not “overworked.” Our parents were teaching us one of the most valuable lessons a person could learn – that is RESPONSIBILITY!

24. You understand the value of hard work, commitment, good character, good business and dedication. Farming is no easy task, and you fully comprehend the fact that these values will benefit you the rest of your life. These values will lead to success and you know it.

25. You realize just how lucky you are to have grown up on a farm. You realize that you want your future kids to grow up on a farm too because there really is not an upbringing that can compare. <3

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I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it. One thing I know for sure is  that I am so proud to be considered one of these kids. If you are, share this! Show the world you’re proud of it too. Better yet, thank your parents for giving you the rare opportunity to grow up as a farm kid.  

Thanks so much for reading this post. As always, God Bless You All!

Until next time…

~Ali~20131122-121833.jpg20131122-121808.jpg20131122-121818.jpg

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Comments

  1. Reblogged this on myAGventures.

  2. I love this. I remember the year I got my farm set for Christmas I was so excited! You summed up growing up the farming way perfectly!
    http://www.crystalcattle.com

    • I still have all my farm sets! Hopefully if I ever have kids one day or have nieces/nephews, hopefully they will get to enjoy them as much as I did. Thank you so much! I had an absolute blast writing it :)

  3. I have always laughed at knowing a cow was in heat WELL before we were old enough to know what that actually meant! And then knowing the remedy to said heat! Oh to be a farn kid :)

  4. You nailed it about farm life! I grew up on a farm and continue to farm and have 2 daughters that know all to well about farm life. And not once have I ever had my kids tell me that they are bored unlike many other kids. :)

  5. I grew up in farm country, even though not on a farm, and I loved this. Brief, to the point, and nicely illustrated!

  6. every thing says:

    thaaaaaaaanx
    Blog is good

    http://kollshi17.com/

  7. All so very true, as I was reading this, I could see my boys, back in their childhood, doing everything you wrote, specially about the farm toys. I believe we have 3 of EVERYTHING, but to this day, they can tell you who’s is who’s and they were not left out in the rain and destroyed. My boys knew they needed to take care of their stuff and they did. I guess that goes hand in hand taking care of their animals and chorus and their personal belongings, cause some of those things will not and can not be replaced.

  8. Roger Groezinger says:

    Loved this!!! I will think of this often as I go from farm to farm in my bussinesss seeing customers. Always enjoy seeing the younger kids out and about on the different types of farms I visit. Thank you for a great well written article!!

  9. rick curtis says:

    I remember being really mad if school started BEFORE corn chopping !!

  10. I loved this!! Everything is so very true! I wouldn’t change the farm life for anything…I still get my chore clothes/shoes mixed up with my good clothes/shoes. Thank you for writing such a wonderful blog! I look forward to reading more from you!

  11. Rhonda Lee Perry says:

    You are so right! Growing up on the farm was a privilege and a honor!

  12. This was my life growing up as well as my husbands…. And now my three kiddos! Especially my little one he fit every single one of these other than he is only 6.

  13. I was a country girl at heart but trapped in the city! I had cousins that got to grow up on the farm and I always said from the time I was little, that I wanted to live on a farm! Now I get that chance and I get to raise my son the way I wish I could have.

  14. I remember getting grain scoops and jacknives for Christmas, and hating to leave the knife at home because I kinda needed to clean my fingernails at school.

  15. This kinda made me tear up a little bit. Call me a ‘sally’, but it was like reliving my child hood. And there are so many truths about doing things with your dad on the farm. My tractor is my dad’s favorite. :)

  16. my husband, who is from a city but is interested in farming, asked what we would do if our kids said they didn’t want to do chores. I looked at him puzzled because it wasn’t even in my thought processes, chores were like breathing…they just needed to be done.

  17. Awesome job, you hit the nail right on the head! The “you could tell if an animal was sick” part reminded me of when one of our cows had milk fever and my little sister (who was about 8 at the time) came bellowing in the house that the cow was sick and proceeded to flop in the middle of the kitchen floor to demonstrate HOW sick. :) We’re the luckiest kids in the world!

  18. Kevin Counsil says:

    You forgot walking to the creek or back pasture and fishing anytime you wanted after digging your own worms !

  19. #26 – You learned to work with your neighbor. Sometimes you needed your neighbor’s help, and sometimes your neighbor needed your help.

  20. I totally identify and agree. We are the most blessed people on the earth. We have what we need and that is more than enough. Blessings!

  21. Great post – I especially love the part about farm and nice shoes and clothes. My Mom went through that with my sisters and I and I go through that with my kids, and heck, my husband too!
    ~Val http://www.cornbeanspigskids.com

  22. #11. All the way. Grandpa too

  23. I wish I grew up on a Farm!!!

  24. My son was telling me the other day how some of the boys in his class go workout at the gym and some of them were saying he was a wimp because he doesn’t…..I looked at him and said don’t listen to them, I bet not one of them could do what you do! He looked at me oddly….so I continued I bet you they would not last an hour out in the field, in the middle of summer throwing bales! Not only do you ride behind the tractor on the stooker all day then you have to help pile them in the barn. Those pretty boys who have everything done for them couldn’t do it! Sure the gym will build muscles but having muscles doesn’t make you a strong person. You know the benefit of hard work and working for what you want and that is what makes a person strong….plus what’s a better workout then throwing bales :)

    • Exactly! I call it “Farm Kid Fitness!” I was always extremely muscled up and everyone would always ask me what I did to get them. I just say go work on a farm for a week and see what happens. Lifting 50 pound feed sacks, buckets full of feed, hauling hay, milking cows, etc., that is how a true work out goes! You tell your son to not worry about what those kids think. He’s truly the lucky one!

  25. This brought up so many memories of my childhood growing up on a farm. To this day, when I see Holstein cows, I think of the rubber toy ones I had. We had riding horses, but it was always fun to ride the milk cow too. Although I’m female, I loved dressing like my dad in overalls and “4 buckles”. Couldn’t even guess how many times we would find the cows &/or horses out when we were dressed up to go someplace. Of course, it meant either heading out to get them in with the good clothes on or going back in to change.

  26. Read all 25 and thought you nailed it pretty darn well! I’m 17 myself and farming is the life! :D

  27. Sarah Grams a.k.a. UW-Madison's Reindeer says:

    You did an awesome job on this. What a trip down memory lane! I grew up on a Dairy Farm and raised my daughter either on the farm I was working at or took her with me to the farm until she was in her teens. A few of my “Farming Experiences” are:
    1) Being serenaded by the coyotes at 4 am as I did heifer chores.
    2) Talking to the milk man at 5am.
    3) Making saddle bags by hand {cutting the leather then soaking the rawhide string & sewing them together} then packing PB&J sandwiches & a jar of Kool-Aid in them and riding to the back 20 acres & playing pretend games all afternoon on our ponies – after our chores were done of course.
    4) My 2 sisters & I made our own show halters for our Jersey calves. One of the halters broke in the show ring when my sisters calf planted her feet & refused to go in circles any more – then promptly laid down right there in the ring! Everyone got a great laugh!
    5) Showing my 4-H, FFA dairy project to Overall Grand Champion and thinking that all the hard work was a small price to pay for that incredible feeling of PRIDE!
    6) I set up and ran the embryo transfer program on a large dairy (3000+ milking cows) here in Florida. My daughter helped me flush cows by running the filter & I showed her embryos under the microscope {She was 6 years old!}. Several bull calves were contracted to A.I. Studs so we took them out to our place to isolate/quarantine them until they were old enough to go to the studs. When we got the first calf out at our place, she put her hands on her hips, cocked her head, looked up at me & asked:
    NOW MOMMY, DID I SEE HIM UNDER THE MICROSCOPE???
    7) Having our old neighbor that helped us learn to farm (we moved to the farm when I was 5) give me a lesson I’ve lived by all my life: “Don’t worry about helping me back, just help the next guy”.
    8) Farming isn’t just a way to make a living – it’s a way of life.
    9) You have to love farming cuz you SURE WEREN’T in it to get rich!!!

    Thanks Again for your article. Sorry if I got long on my comment, but I had to share a some of my major Highlights/Memories! Sarah

    • MANY MANY more stories to tell!
      [Shorthand to jog my memory]!
      1) Dad, corn picker stuck -frogs!!!
      2) Ag advisor comments. a) 4wheel drive truck {Needing one}. b) description of place {World}.
      3) FFA offices, awards, & conventions.
      4) UW Madison FISC experiences & payments.
      5) Fun on the lane! {Ronnie cigs, Ashes, Snow – Dozer, TravelAll.
      6) Dairy Expo – Jill-eyelashes, 8 months, E’ – Food!!!
      7) Jersey Jug Futurity.
      8) Learning to drive!
      9) Fantasia
      10) Shooting lessons
      11) Reason for farm
      12) Baling hay: stack, Mt. Everest, record #, jackknife; rake @ Carl’s
      13) Larry: spreader, message in snow.
      14) Showing ponies
      15) Toby & rest of horses
      16) Wayne & sandstorm spooky Hollow
      17) Jen & coyotes
      18) Broshous boys – Match up, milking, birthday present
      19) snowstorm & snowmobiles
      20) sophomore year – mom hyst.
      21) Hauling milk
      22) Clay in creek
      23) milking experiences – growth
      24) checking traps
      25) Red barn on Hill
      26) Oak tree – Dozer
      27) rambler rocks
      28) School mud
      29) sick calves: TravelAll, eggs, warm water & wine
      30) sneezy: milk fever
      31) Meal: all homegrown.
      32) Showing cows
      33) I’ll think of more! Just give me time…

    • Omg, I loved your comments! Definitely made me laugh. Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing some of your experiences too! :)

  28. Great article! Please contact me, I would like permission to reprint.

  29. Grew up on a farm…we use to walk through the fresh cow pancakes with our bare feet and watch it squish between our toes.. go out in the fields and pick rock and think our dad put them back, because the next year there they were again…(Mustard weed) . We as a family did the haying, we also earned money by peeling pulp, picking boughs for wreaths, 4- H and entering things in the fair. Remember my grandmother bringing in the milk to drink and scooping the cream off to use. When they came and got the milk out of the tank of cold water, we use to actually get in the cold water. Taking baths in wash tubs when we were little. Finding the baby

  30. Willy Keehn says:

    As I set here and read this at 53 years of age it just simply makes me wish I could go back to that family farm, were at the end of the day I was wore out cause dad said come on boy, work to do, but it was with family. In the morning while still tired it was come on boy, them cows don’t milk themselves. At the end of each meal it was come on boy you suppose the field work is going to do itself. In the garden it was grandma saying you let gramps hoe the peas and the strawberries cause we some left to pick and if you are the one pulling the weeds there won’t be anything left, cause you’ll eat them all. Oh yes and my favorite, gramma I’m bored, well here is a coffee can of water and a paint brush go pretend to paint the cement stoop out back it needs cleaned anyway! And on and on and on! Thanks for the reminder. Oh and when you got snowed in. Anyway it was always family time on the farm! Be Blessed! And Thank You

  31. We did hard dangerous work and thought it was fun! We climbed silos, grain bins and trees. We built forts in hay sheds and graineries. There were long walks down field trails and miles of bicycle or motorcycle trails that never left the farm. Somehow we survived and raised our kids just as we were raised.

  32. I to grew up on a cattle farm, from a little kid following the hands around all the time, until I got old enough to finally work it. The best times were, when we had to round up the whole herd, real cowboys, on horses full speed, outa the woods, up the lane and into the lot, through the sqeeze shot, branded ear tags, shots, and for the not so lucky, snip,snip some purple spray, and a slow walk out. I had a dog named pooter, that would feast on rocky mountain oysters all day long, haying, tansy pulling, stick/rock picking, logging, fence mending, there was a lesson learned in every job, I drove a 1948 ( or real close to that year), jonnie popper trike, hand clutch, no compression, at the age of 11, most people still don’t know what I’m talking about, At the age of 17 I joined the army, and got the heck outa there, I’m 48 now and man, what I would do to go back to that life, farming ain’t easy, and it thought me a world of knowledge, No better up bringing around, remember sticking your face right down in the creek, and sucking up a big mouth full.

  33. Edith Entz says:

    Just relived many wonderful days of farm life! We went to the peanut fields early and moved irrigation pipe before the children went to school ! Breakfast was always welcome after that before the school bus arrived !

  34. Cynthia Rohde says:

    Country school, walking beans, tractors with no cabs, sit down family meals, church on Sunday, flat tires, gravel roads….

  35. Thank you so much for this great blog – brings up great memories! Growing up on a farm inspired me to write a song about it called “Down on the Farm.” Great life lessons!

  36. My Barbie drove the toy tractor. Best hiding place was in the barn. And no one ate a meal until all the animals fed. If they don’t eat, you don’t eat!

  37. Thank you for posting this! We are deciding if we should move and raise our kids on the family farm and this gave me a great insight, as I’m a city girl! Married a country guy … But possibly soon to be a farmers wife and farm mum eek! :)

Trackbacks

  1. […] Growing Up on a Farm: 25 Facts About Being a Farm Kid! – MyAGventures: […]

  2. […] about a girl’s experiences being a kid growing up on a farm. You can find the page here: http://myagventures.com/2013/11/22/25-farm-kid-truths/ . On her list, one thing she wrote was the following, “ You learned at a very young age […]

  3. […] stand for Ag every time I see farm kids – either my own or someone else’s – helping out and/or playing on a farm. I know that is the […]

  4. […] up a farm kid has been such a blessing that I did not realize until later on in life. I learned about how hard […]

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