This is a very celebratory time of the year. Fields are being planted, which gives us the opportunity to celebrate a new season and cycle of growth. Just a few weeks ago we celebrated and honored our farm mothers on Mother’s Day. And in just a few days (Sunday, June 18, 2017) we’ll be celebrating Father’s Day and paying homage to the farm fathers in our lives.
As we head towards this special day for our farm fathers, I want to reshare a few of the many articles I’ve written about fathers over the last two decades. They play such an important role on the farm and in the family – the boss, the disciplinarian, the legacy-builder, and at times we forget to look beyond them as a human “doing” and acknowledge the human “being” that they are. I hope that these articles give us all, regardless of our current relationships with the father’s on our farm, a gentle reminder of their importance and the many ways we can honor them.
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The first article I’m sharing is How to Help Farming Fathers Be Really Happy. While it is each individual’s responsibility to decide how happy they want to be, the interactions we have with those around can play a significant role in that happiness. In this article, I share insights I’ve gleaned from speaking to fathers who are enjoying relationships with their farming sons and daughters – their successors. These insights include specific acts that their children take towards them -asking for advice, treating them with respect and including them in conversations – that they appreciate and go a long way to building their happiness.
Our next article, Who Am I as Father, Founder, and Farmer, was written specifically to speak to fathers as a way for them to look at exactly what their role is on the farm, how they can build on that and provide tools they can use to build happier relationships in the family roles.
I’m including it in the list of articles to share because I believe that all family members can read this and get a better understanding of the emotional challenges that fathers face on the farm in defining who they are, building an identity beyond what they do and building (or repairing) their family relationships. This may be especially helpful for young farm fathers or sons looking to become successors to read so they get an understanding of what might be involved in their future roles.
Encouraging Farm Fathers. This is the next article in our sharing series and includes some fantastic encouragements from the book The Gift of the Blessing from Gary Smalley and John Trent and practical tools that can be used to bless your farming father.
From learning to let go, taking better care of health, and teaching financial responsibility, the encouragements and tools shared can go a long way not only for fathers but for their family in understanding the steps that they can take to decrease the stress in their lives and increase their energy for getting things done.
The final article I’m sharing is The Father Factor in Farming.
The title of this article really explains what we discuss in this article – the father’s overall influence on the farm and the family legacy. This article includes a link to one of the most amazing resources I’ve come across in my farm coaching career – the book The Father Factor by Stephen Poulter. Poulter believes that we learn from our father’s rule book about work, relationships, ethics and money. By understanding more about your farm father and even possibly his father, you can possess information that can be used as a tool to build your farm relationships, especially that with your farm father.
I send wishes and blessings to all farm fathers on this upcoming Father’s Day. And I send those same blessings to the families of those father’s and hope that these articles will provide you some insights and tools to better celebrate your farm fathers this upcoming holiday.