By Kim Baldwin, McPherson County farmer and rancher
Summertime on the farm is in full effect. We seem to awaken a bit earlier with the sun to accomplish tasks before the heat of the day sets in. We also seem to go to bed much later to take advantage of the extra daylight.
It’s a constant state of “go-go-go” most days right now with an occasional slowdown if a rain shower pops up.
After going through the items of the day over coffee, my husband is usually the first one out the door. We are generally going different directions for the majority of the days right now, but we’re always touching base with quick phone calls and text messages.
Sometimes the text messages between us consist of a brief “OK” or a thumbs up emoji. Sometimes the text is simply a link to a news article one of us finds interesting. Other times it’s a silly TikTok or Facebook Reel we know will give the other a good chuckle.
Many times the text message thread between us includes silly GIF responses.
A perfect example of our daily communication during this time of the year was when I recently texted a selfie of me with a thumbs up showing my husband I had successfully backed a truck to and hooked a trailer to the ball hitch without any help – a task I like to remind him I am fully capable of accomplishing.
“One try,” I included in the text message accompanying the photo.
His response: A black and white GIF of battle-worn actor Gerard Butler playing King Leonidas from the movie 300 with the words “MY QUEEN.”
Another example was when we were looking for a small part needed for the planter. When I thought I had found the item I texted him a picture of it with “Is this it?” in the message.
While his response was a quick, “Yah,” I responded back with a GIF of a crowd wildly applauding.
I’ve had many times in my adult life that I have reflected on how lucky I am to be living in this era. I often wonder how those before me handled life in general, let alone life on the farm without all of the modern tools, technologies and conveniences.
Constant communication on our farm is a necessity to ensure we are as productive and efficient with our time as possible, especially during these busy summer days.
I truly don’t know how those successfully communicated and maintained relationships before us during the busy summer farm days of yesteryear. I just know that I am truly thankful for the ability to instantly communicate with my husband, which allows us to not only efficiently accomplish tasks, but also allows us to provide quick words of affirmation or encouragement through silly animations, videos and emojis via text messages that help us navigate our busy summer days on the farm together.
“Insight” is a weekly column published by Kansas Farm Bureau, the state’s largest farm organization whose mission is to strengthen agriculture and the lives of Kansans through advocacy, education and service.