When is Enough… Enough?
Many people gain a sense of accomplishment from doing a job well or completing a project. In my case, I enjoy harvesting crops and the sense of satisfaction that come when the last of the corn is in the bin. I always think, “Now I can relax.”
But, I find myself involved in so many other things that it’s truly hard to find time to relax. I had this epiphany while sitting in church on Sunday morning. (Yep, I know I should be concentrating on the sermon – and I was!) The sermon made me wonder whether I have done enough for my church. When is enough… well, enough? I started questioning whether I set the right example for my kids when they were growing up or whether I was too busy.
As busy as I am, I never seem to cross as many items as I’d like off my list. I have maybe 37 different projects started around my farm and house. There’s a porch I want to add on to the west side of our house, and the door to it is already in place. Right now it’s a door that leads to nowhere! I’ve torn the sheet rock off half the laundry room with the intent of making a walk-in closet. That project is half done. And whatever you do, don’t ask Janice about our trim work. I’m very glad I don’t do trim work in the hog barns!
There are projects that I just never seem to be around to doing. I’ve had the materials on hand to make a waterfall by Janice’s shop for at least 10 years now. I think that is long enough! I’m in the process of cleaning up my old steel piles, but that’s easier said than done. After all, I might need something off that pile to fix something someday. I’ve been saying this for 40 years now, but I’m still wondering when enough steel is enough. 🙂
This week I had to set aside all of the projects that I wanted to work no in order to do the work that really needed to be done. It’s time to bring in some new porkers, so that means I’m emptying hog barns this week. While cleaning hog barns is always a big chore, it’s even more daunting this week as I’m cleaning up after Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV). I will keep cleaning and disinfecting until it’s time to put in the new pigs because I’m don’t believe there is such a thing as “clean enough.”
There is also work to be done in the political arena. When can we say “enough is enough” in regards to talking to our elected officials? That’s an easy answer for me. “Never!” We can never stop educating the people we’ve put in office to run our government. Ag literacy among American politicians is a grave concern. Farmers can’t afford to say “enough is enough” as it related to the Farm Bill, school lunches, soil conservation and animal welfare.
When have we talked enough about agriculture? It’s so important that we share information with people, who want to know how their food is grown. I believe it’s important for me to talk with people about why I raise pigs the way I do and why I grow GMO crops. Even though I’ve given several interviews, I have several engagements waiting for me right now. Michael Libbie has invited me to be a guest on his new radio show, Insight on Business the News Hour, and I’m looking forward to finding a date that works for us both.
I’m also gearing up for the classroom where I’ll talk to students in local schools as part of the National Pork Board’s Operation MainStreet program. This is the program through which I’ve actively spoken to civic groups about how I raise pigs. After nine years of talking to these groups, it’s exciting to branch out into a new focus group!
I’ve also been asked to record a one-hour presentation for Iowa State Extension about genetically modified crops. I’ve tended to “just wing it” in the past, but now I’m wondering how much preparation is enough. I enjoy being asked questions and knowing what the audience wants to hear. I’m still talking about the Ukraine Market Study from July. Apparently, folks haven’t heard enough yet about that trip! It amazes me how people, especially farmers, want to know what farmers do in other countries.
Enough is enough for this week’s blog… I must get back to cleaning hog barns! I’m looking forward to getting get some satisfaction from having those barns spotless and ready for new little pigs.
P.S. I’ve had enough of the word “enough”!