Just a few months ago, a lifelong dairyman of 50 years suddenly passed away. In reflecting upon the humble farmer who put others and his cattle before himself, the officiant shared his unique perspective on the man’s vocation. As Christians around the world celebrate the birth of the Christ, I humbly share this uplifting message from Father Tom Pomeroy about all farmers who care for God’s creation:
Let’s go all the way back to the Garden of Eden . . .
God created that garden. Afterward, He created Adam and told him to tend the garden, care for all its animals and plants, and to protect that garden.
That means that the original man, as God created him, was a farmer. The farmer serves God in the temple of the world just as Adam did in the Garden of Eden at the world’s creation because that’s what being a farmer is all about.
There is a spirituality that goes with this profession. Imagine the farmer walking through his barn. He has a concerned look on his face because he’s been nursing a calf back to health.
Wearing muddy boots, he walks out into the sun. At first, the farmer shades his eyes due to the brightness. At the same time, he can feel the heat of the life-giving sun on his face. As the farmer looks at the field, he notices something different about the field.
Yesterday, it was brown.
Today, there are tiny green shoots.
That part of the spirituality of being a farmer — you are surrounded by God’s creation every day and all the wonder that comes with it. When you are living in the concrete jungle of a city, that’s so different. But when you are on a farm, it’s about God’s creation.
There’s animals. There’s birth.
There’s plants. There’s growth.
How can you not have faith when you are surrounded by God’s creation?
Another part of that wonderful spirituality is that farm and home are connected. As a farmer, you are there for your family. If there is something that needs to be done on the farm, you leave the house and run out to the farm. If something is happening in the house, you leave the farm and run into the house.
The two are connected: farm and family work together. Farm families raise their children to know the importance of hard work. But not only the importance of hard work, also that wonderful ability to love the work you are doing.
Farmers know the importance of community. Farmers depend on each other. Farmers know the importance of serving their fellow citizens.
Above all, when you are a farmer, your focus is on feeding the world’s hungry. As a farmer, you are serving God’s children by providing nourishment to the world.
For those who wish to know more . . .
This message was originally delivered by Father Tom Pomeroy of Brillion’s Holy Family Parish during the funeral for the late Randy Geiger . . . the author’s 69-year-old father. When hearing the inspirational message from the urban-born pastor, the author could not help but think Father Pomeroy quickly learned the spirit of farmers the world over. This held true even though Father Pomeroy had only been the shepherd at this particular rural parish less than a year.
The author is the managing editor, and he brings 24 years of industry leadership to our readers overseeing all editorial content and production of the magazine. His degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison combined dairy science and agricultural economics.