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Why I Farm: Behind the Movement

Wisdom Beyond His Years

Published on Thursday, February 06, 2014

Be strong and courageous.
Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged,
for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9

A few weeks ago, I was told about the inspirational story of Joshua Jank, a 19 year old young man who entered our Why I Farm contest. I’ve never met Joshua, but what I can tell you is that this young man has wisdom far beyond his years. His love for life, compassion for others, and selfless acts of kindness are captivating.

And his story is truly unforgettable.

Josh was adopted at six months old by a family in northeastern Indiana. Born with Sickle Cell Anemia, he has faced challenges that many of us will never encounter. But over the years, while there have been many good moments, his health has declined. And in 2012, he was diagnosed with Hepatopulonary Syndrome, a terminal illness that affects the lungs and liver.


                                          Photo provided by

On August 20, 2013, Josh entered hospice care with the understanding that his time on earth was soon coming to an end. While many of us would be afraid, Josh has embraced his next journey, knowing that his last days would be the best days of his life.

(Like I said, Josh has wisdom far beyond his years.)

Since then, Josh has been living each day to the fullest, striving to complete not only his bucket list, but also a “Go Make a Difference (M.A.D.) list.” Similar to a bucket list, the Go M.A.D. list shoots for miracles-in-the-making.

Here are a few things on Josh’s bucket list:
      - Harvesting corn and sugar beets;
      - Registering to vote;
      - Hosting a shrimp boil;
      - Flying in a helicopter;
      - And meeting someone from Duck Dynasty.

But his Go M.A.D. list included one very important item.

Find a forever home for a 12 year old boy from Asia, who has very few adoptable days left due to his age.

Shortly after Josh’s stay in hospice, he learned that the young boy had not been adopted during a visit to the United States over the summer. It was in that moment, while talking to his mom, he said his family needs to adopt him.

In Josh’s words, “He can’t go through life without a family. I won’t be here much longer. He can have my bed.”

(I can’t say it enough; Josh's wisdom is far beyond his years.)

With the cost of international adoption averaging $30,000, finding the funds can be extremely difficult. So I’m writing this blog to enlist your help. Because I firmly believe there is no better community to lift Josh up and answer his prayers, than you, the agricultural community.

Because of his love and passion for farming, (check out this awesome story from Josh’s time on a Michigan sugar beet farm) Josh entered the Why I Farm contest. In order to enter the contest, he submitted a picture and a short story about why he farms.

If he can achieve enough votes for his story by March 3, he can receive up to $25,000 in Beck’s Hybrids products. And if he wins, he then plans to sell the seed and utilize the money toward helping this boy find a forever home. Just a couple weeks ago, Joshua's Why I Farm story was featured on news channel WANE 15 in Ft. Wayne, IN.

So what do you say? Will you join me in helping Josh achieve one of his Go M.A.D. wishes? It’s just a few easy steps.

1. Go to
2. Log-in or register (all you need is an email address) to vote.
3. Vote one time per day.
4. The voting period ends on March 3, 2014.


I already made my vote for the day. Now, it's your turn!

After learning about the Go M.A.D. list on Josh’s website,, I found this quote that his mother wrote. And from what I’ve learned about Josh, this quote couldn’t be more fitting.

“Sometimes when you pray you "get" a miracle. Sometimes when you pray you "get to be" a miracle.” ~Brenda Jank

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Ashley Fischer
Ashley Fischer>

Ashley Fischer

Media relations coordinator at Beck's, business owners' wife, farmer's daughter, dedicated to family farm, God-fearing, and agriculture proud

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1 comments on article "Why I Farm: Behind the Movement"

jan g

2/7/2014 10:29 AM

Ooooh Ashley, i'm going to change the name of this program to Why I Cry... incredible, incredible story... so can we carry the ball further and find a place to donate to their cause? xoxo

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