Farmers need to elevate their reputation

By Baxter Black: Humor columnist

As the percentage of farmers continues to decrease in proportion to the population, it seems the harder the ANTIs (HSUS, PETA, Sierra Club, name one) try to increase America’s dependence on foreign food, just as they have done with manufacturing, energy, timber, and steel.

They have the foresight of a mayfly.

If farmers were a race, we’d be a minority smaller than the National Left-Handed-Americans for a Fair Shake.

So, I’m thinkin’ there must be more opportunities for farmers to elevate our reputation. The Hare Krishna and Farm Sanctuary drew attention with their Adopt a Heifer fund raiser. The BLM has Adopt a Mustang. Freeways have sold Adopt a Mile. How ’bout Adopt a Farmer?

We could have a spinoff of the Dating Game. Three farmers could sit behind a curtain while a Real American Consumer (RAC) could ask questions of a sheepherder, a corn farmer and a horse whisperer.

RAC: “Which one of you enjoys long walks, can cook mutton and appreciates privacy?”

“Baaaaaah…”

RAC: “Do any of you enjoy long winters by the fire and a good book?”

“Shore,” says the corn farmer. “If you mean in the shop. I’ve read ‘Golfing for Dummies.’”

RAC: “I have a very nice horse property but I need someone to listen to me!”

“Ma’am,” says the cowboy, “does that include a credit card?”

What could a RAC expect if they adopted a farmer? The opportunity to enjoy working outside in all kinds of weather. A vague understanding of tractor parts. Long drives to town on dirt roads through mud and snow. The chance to partake in the replacement of a uterine prolapse, chopping ice, pulling a dead calf, stacking hay, holding the flashlight or driving the oldest grain truck on the farm.

Maybe as a means of impressing the urban majority of us, we could hold our own “America Farmer Idol.” To qualify as a contestant you just have to have your place mortgaged, have a wife with a job in town, or have an addiction to spring-time planting, all verifiable by your wife and/or bank lender.

As a matter of fact a virtual Farmer Idol contest was held by the Delmarva Peninsulites, and the finalists included:

a) a soybean farmer who sculpts tofu;

b) a sheep producer who can knit their wool into the shape of a coyote while they are still unshorn, and …

c) a chicken farmer who put Tabasco sauce in his pullet feed to stimulate “hot wings.”

But the winner was an Illinois River fish farmer who invented the Asian Carpcake, Carplegs, the Carp-apple tree, even carpgrass for your lawn.

His theme song was “I’ve got Carp, You’ve got Carp, Everybody’s got the Carp!”

It was actually his second attempt at winning the American Farmer Idol. He tried the year before when he was a crab fisherman in Maryland. He was disqualified when the judges heard his theme song.