Farmers Aren't 'Cute'
August 24, 2006
By Julie Kay Smithson
A recent Delta Farm Press article appears to suggest that farmers reinvent themselves in order to compete with 'cute.' Mention is made of the "warm, fuzzy, photogenic," etc., things that "endangered" species are, as though American farmers would be more popular if only they could become 'cute.'
Do you perceive wolves, cougars, grizzlies, wolverines, snakes, etcetera, to be "cute?" The "Endangered Species Act" and its continued resuscitation, over a decade after it expired, does not limit its "interpretation" to "cute" species, although the "Center for Biological Diversity" seems to seek out the cutest NAMES for allegedly "endangered" species when super-litigating. Not ALL farmers are signed up for various and sundry "programs."
"Cute" does not describe farmers. Honest, hardworking, brown of face and forearm, often slow to speak and only then after thorough deliberation -- these are apt descriptions.
The largest John Deere dealership in North America makes its home in my neighborhood, as does a farm equipment auction (with another set to open just a dozen miles away), a stock trailer manufacturer, one of the top five farm shows in America, and some dandy Amish restaurants. You won't be able to sample the fare on Sundays; they are closed to observe the Sabbath.
"Cute" does not describe the lines of sun-drying homespun, often hung in order from largest to smallest. It does not fit the ladies and girls with their hair neatly braided up and tucked under white caps, hands busily quilting or doing other house chores.
"Cute" does not suit the palpable peace that accompanies our bountiful crops, even now ripening and turning from green to gold in the fields while the cicadas fill the air with their August song.
"Cute" is a word not found much in the vicinity of farmers.
Unless, that is, you are talking about newborn kittens, puppies, calves, lambs, or foals.
Julie Kay Smithson is at home in the Amish and Mennonite farm country of rural Ohio
Her website: (22,000+ pages; navigate by scrolling down from the top left corner, under "Contents;" buttons are listed alphabetically)