Published on Wednesday, May 08, 2019
The brim of my hat shaded my face from the harsh sun as I stood on a gravel road. In the distance, I could see the continuation of the gravel path, rising out of the still, murky water that was hiding a large portion of it. A small motorboat was anchored on the muddy shore, barely swaying back and forth in the light breeze. It looked as though it was in its natural habitat. Instead, it was floating atop a cornfield, harvested only a few months earlier.
It was April 8, 2019. Most farmers in the heart of the Midwest would have hoped to be preparing their fields for planting by that date, but that was not the case for many farmers along the Missouri River and its tributaries. The gravel road where I was standing was on the Casner family farm, just outside of Carrollton, MO, and right along the river — a blessing and a curse to their operation. The melting snow after life-threatening blizzards and heavy rains in Nebraska wreaked havoc across the Heartland. Even areas that did not see the intense precipitation, like that small town in Missouri, were suffering the consequences of the traveling waters.
The Casner family was one of the many farm operations affected by the early spring flooding. Across the Midwest, thousands of acres of farmland were under water, with no hope of drying out in time to be planted. Grain bins collapsed, destroying stockpiled grain. Livestock death tolls rose with the flood waters. Millions of dollars were lost, threatening the future of multi-generation farms. Farmers were experiencing some of the worst Mother Nature has to offer.
At 29-years-old, Adam Casner has seen eight of the ten highest rivers, including this year’s, which was the highest recorded river level at their local gauge. Even so, the Casners feel they were one of the lucky ones when it came to the flood. They were able to keep their levees from breaking, thanks to a community of volunteers.
Even so, when they started to get discouraged, they thought of something that the eighth generation on the farm, a 3-year-old named Corbin, had said. Missing his dad, he asked his mother when his dad would be home. She told him that daddy had to stay at Granny and Grandpa’s to watch the levees and try to save the farm.
“Well, Mom, God will watch the levees.”
It’s the faith of a child that can give us the strength to carry on. As farmers, there is always another challenge around the corner out of your control. Sometimes you must gain a little perspective from a little boy in Missouri who knows God will protect us and provide for us, even amid a disaster.
The war with Mother Nature is far from over for the farmers affected by this natural disaster and the natural disasters to come, but you can bet that they will pull themselves up by the bootstraps and keep going. After all, that is what a farmer does.
To bring awareness to the devastation from the floods and hardships Missouri farmers are facing, the Why I Farm team created a video featuring the Casner family.
Check it out on Beck's Why I Farm social media platforms, including:
Author: Ashley Heyen
Categories: CropTalk, 2019