Published on Wednesday, September 11, 2013
I’m guilty. No, I didn’t commit a crime, although I did eat a small container of cookie dough ice cream last weekend. It’s equal to like two scoops, right? What I am guilty of is working on Sundays.
I don’t work every Sunday, but there have been times when I’ve caught myself at the computer, checking email and preparing for the week ahead. Have you ever been guilty of working on a Sunday? Have you worked late hours during the week to finish a project or maybe even a Why I Farm blog (I might be guilty of this)? And how many of you have been in the fields on Sunday during planting or harvest? Because when the conditions are perfect and you’re up against Father Time, being in the fields is all you can think about.
At our next tour stop, I’m going to introduce you to an Ohio farmer, who literally stopped me in my tracks. (And that doesn’t happen very often.) He made me stop and think about life. And I think after you meet him, you’ll understand why I left wanting to be a better person.
Tour Stop #6 – Allen Ett, Ashville, OH
I don’t always look forward to Monday’s, but on Monday, April 22, I was eager to get on the road. This time, I was headed to Ashville, Ohio, about 30 minutes south of Columbus. Just from my phone conversations with Allen Ett, I knew the interview was going to be good.
It was mid-morning when I turned into Allen’s driveway. As I pulled up to the house, Allen was just getting out of his truck. He greeted me with a big smile, firm handshake and an invitation to sit down at his kitchen table. For the next hour, Allen captivated me with his big heart, good humor, positive outlook on life, and most of all his faith.
From an early age, Allen knew he wanted to farm. But it was because of his dad the opportunity was possible. After he graduated high school, Allen joined his older brother and dad in the farming operation. From there, the three of them were unstoppable. Even through the 80s when many farmers didn’t survive, the Ett family never lost their way.
Farming can be tough. It’s not a 9 to 5 job. You don’t get a paycheck every two weeks. Your schedule revolves around Mother Nature. Allen learned a lot about life from his dad. He learned that you find time for God, time for family, and time for work. And even when the weather is perfect and there is only one field left to harvest, you don’t work on Sunday.
When Allen told me they don’t work on Sunday, I didn’t even leave room for him to continue talking. I had to ask. Even if it had rained for weeks and this was the first dry day? Not even then. This is something Allen’s dad instilled in them at a young age. Sunday is a day of rest. It’s a day to worship the Lord and spend time with family.
By this point in the interview, Allen was already tugging on my heart strings. But it wasn’t until the end of the interview that he really got to me. Not just by his willpower, but his faith. And even as I’m writing this tears are starting to form.
Allen’s dad continued to farm right up until he lost his battle to cancer in 2006. To Allen, his dad wasn’t just his dad; he was his friend and partner. He was someone he looked to for answers, advice and how to be a better person. Today, Allen said there isn’t a decision that he and his brother make without thinking about what dad would do.
Allen learned a lot about life from his dad. He learned that you find time for God, time for family, and time for work.
Although losing his dad was one of the biggest challenges he’s had to overcome, he knew he was in a better place, never to suffer again. I tried my hardest to fight back tears as we talked. I looked away from Allen, in hopes of distracting my tears. It worked. (Kind of.)
When I left Allen’s farm that morning, I said a little prayer. I prayed for strength. Strength to have beliefs and a positive attitude like Allen Ett. Because if there were more people like Allen, this world would be a better place.
I’ll warn you now, this one is a tear jerker. So if you’re like me, you might need to grab that box of Kleenexes.
Author: Ashley Fischer
Categories: Why I Farm
Tags: Beck's Hybrids Blog, Beck's Blog, farming, farmer, Ohio farming, Why I Farm, #whyifarm, Beck's Hybrids, Why I Farm Allen Ett, Ashville, Mother Nature, Father Time
Marketing Communications Manager at Beck's.
9/11/2013 4:43 PM
We have never worked on sundays and never will , I agree its a day of rest and to worship GOD and be with family
9/12/2013 8:43 AM
I am Allen Ett's sister, and I am so very proud of Allen and my brother Wilson, for holding up Dad's belief about never working on Sunday. As a child growing up on the farm, Dad was a walking testimony to what he believed. Come Saturday nights during planting and harvest season at 11:59 p.m., the equipment shut down. He taught us all well. He taught us about life, right from wrong, your word is your word and a handshake sealed the deal! Treat others the way you would want to be treated. Thanks for sharing my family's story.
9/17/2013 9:05 AM
Glenna, I loved reading your post. Your family has a beautiful story to tell and I'm glad I was able to help share their story.
9/15/2013 11:59 AM
I was lucky enough to meet and know the Ett brothers (and their Mom) while I helped out at Ashville Grain. This is a beautiful tribute to not only the farmer way of life; but to God and family. I know first-hand these men are “the real deal”. God bless them and keep them.
9/17/2013 9:04 AM
Thanks for your kind comment, Bonnie. Allen and his family are truly special.