To those of us in agriculture, it comes as no surprise that Mother Nature can be many things. She can be loving, heartwarming, sensitive, and a sunny day. She can also be cruel, heartless, destructive, and flood waters. Sometimes all in the same week! So far, 2019 has been no exception to this rule. Wildfires, tornadoes, and flooding have swept across the Midwest and other parts of the United States. Here in Mid-Missouri, flooding has been a large topic of conversation for almost a month now. MANY fields are completely underwater and farmers are feeling the stress of getting their crop in the ground to hopefully make something of this unfortunate year.
My friend Brooke Evans and her family make up Troth Farms in Hartsburg Mo, and much of their land has been underwater for the last month. About two weeks ago, Brooke was kind enough to give me a tour of some of their flooded river bottom crop land. Land that is usually planted in beans and corn looked like a huge lake with no sign of plant life underneath. Unfortunately, the river has risen much higher and flooded much more land since these photos were taken, but they still show the hard work that was done to try and protect the farm land. Brooke joined together with her family and members of the local Ashland FFA chapter to fill sandbags and place them along the levee to *hopefully* keep as much water out of their crop lands as possible. This flooding continues to be horrible for so many farm families in Missouri and across the Midwest. Many families didn't get a single seed in the ground and will have repercussions of this flooding for years to come. My family doesn't have many acres of crop land, let alone any right up against the river, so I am VERY thankful for friends like Brooke who took time out of her evening to show me the damage and let me snap a few photos and videos.
Even though this flooding has been disastrous, I'm a firm believer of SOMETHING good coming from bad things. While much of our state has suffered from the large amounts of rain and flooding we’ve had this year, I think there’s some folks who can agree with me on this: crises in agriculture have a tendency bring out the best in people…whether it be kids, adults, row crop farmers, FFA members, livestock producers, or industry professionals. It doesn’t matter who you are, what animals you raise, or how many acres you farm... I’ve seen countless examples across the state of communities coming together to help farmers sandbag, move animals out of barns, and prepare for the worst. In this particular situation, it was FFA members and the Troth family who came together to sandbag a levee. But in the last few weeks, my social media feeds have been “flooded” with good stories just like this one. Even when families have evacuated their houses, are exhausted from filling sandbags, and have no hope of getting a crop in the ground this year…you still hear the phrase: “Yeah, but we don’t have it near as bad as some folks do.”
Even when their lives and homes are literally underwater, I hear phrases and statements of gratitude come from many folks in the agricultural industry. How amazing is that?!?!
I don’t know a whole lot, and I’m happy to admit that. But in my 26 short years of life, I haven’t seen too many industries who would say things like that in the midst of a hard season. To me, that’s what makes agriculture the best industry and FAMILY in the world.
If you or someone you know are suffering from the floods and their aftermath, know that we are all praying for you!
Better, DRIER days are ahead!