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CLAYTON RYE

By Staff | Jun 3, 2016

We spend much of our lives living in that tug of war that exists between the head and the heart.

The head is the logical part of us. It is that part of us that is like Jack Webb who played the detective in the old black and white television show of the ’50s called Dragnet. He would say to someone retelling an incident, “Just the facts, ma’am.”

Then the heart makes itself known by saying, “Yeah, I know what the facts are, but this is what I know you want.” Then we have to deal with the temptation, the impulse, the longing, or that sense of right or possibly wrong in spite of the facts.

That is the internal struggle; the struggle can be external between people, groups and causes.

My wife and I had a conversation days ago that showed us the head-and-heart tug of war.

She noticed there were things that were located in corners of the garage that she remembers specifically throwing away.

I saw those items she decided were not of any further use and while I didn’t have a use for them, it seemed to me that they needed to be saved. I could have a use for them, I just don’t know how or when.

There are certain times when my sentimental side kicks in and then the next thing you know, there are piles of lumber scraps, broken items, or a piece I remember from my life that I am not ready to part with yet.

My wife said she was going to do a better job of concealing things in the trash.

Now I will get to the point I am really trying to make.

Resolving that push and pull between head and heart is part of our decision-making and how we get through life.

Farming is no different.

The head understands the part of farming that says this is a business. To succeed income has to be greater than expenses. Every decision has to be weighed and made based on the value of the outcome. There is nothing else.

Then the heart makes itself known saying, “But you know what you really want. Are you sure you want to go through with this?”

Since last fall’s harvest, our heads have been busy preparing for this year’s growing season. We made our best decisions about the price of land, machinery, fertilizer, herbicide, seed, and more.

Here we are in late spring when crops have emerged and progressing so quickly they change in appearance from week to week.

This is the time when we look at our fields to pause and say, “Isn’t that a beautiful sight?”

The crop isn’t in the bin yet, but for right now we look across acres and acres of fields that are becoming increasingly greener and we say to ourselves, “I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

Conversely, when a livestock producer looks at low prices and wonders about his profitability then sees a newborn calf or a litter of pigs, the livestock producer will say maybe breaking even will be the best I can do this year, but there is no way I am quitting.

When the head is sensing a possible failure, it is the heart that tells us to keep going and that can be enough to make the difference.

Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at crye@wctatel.net.

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