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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Farmer in the Making

What motivates you?  What makes you tick?  My boys are totally different and while I know that cows make my oldest happy (and gives me something to ground him from), finding what makes my youngest happy has been a challenge for me.

In December, we took our youngest son to an agronomy meeting.  He sat quietly during the presentations.  He visited the vendor booths and signed up for door prizes.  He listened intently as the door prizes were drawn.  The year before he had won a pair of tickets to a K-State Basketball game, but this year he had his eye on a framed John Deere print to hang in his room.  Sadly, he did not win the print, but instead he got a prize worth more...2 bags of seed corn.

He really wanted that print, but we finally convinced him that he could plant the corn, watch it grow and take the money from his corn and buy a John Deere print he picked out, so that takes us to this past week. 

His seed was delivered and he waited impatiently for the time to plant his corn.

 He learned that you should wait until the soil temperature is at least 50 degrees before you plant corn.  He learned how to check the temperature with a soil thermometer which looks a lot like a meat thermometer.  (Well, Ok that IS my meat thermometer, because the soil thermometer got beat up by a calf when I was using it to monitor the temperature in the hot box.)
 On Wednesday after school, I took the boy to the field to help plant HIS corn from Pioneer.  He ran to the tractor, because dad had started without him. 

 Dad let him sit in the driver seat.  Our tractor is equipped with Autosteer and will drive in a straight line back and forth through the field guided by satellites.
 I hear he got really good at turning the tractor around and pushing the button to get the autosteer started again.
 Even though the tractor can drive itself, it is hard to take your eyes off of where you are going. 

 Sunday evening, we finished planting the rest of the corn.  We started what will be a Sunday evening visit to the corn field to check on its progress and I hope to keep up and post here every week.  We walked out into the field away from the entrance.

Dad uses his pocket knife to dig down and find the seed very gently, so we don't break off the root. 
 Can you see it?

They dug it out of the trench, so we could see it and it has a root!  It has only been planted 6 days and already has a good start.  They carefully placed in back in the trench and loosely covered it with soil.

I am still not sure what makes my youngest tick, but I do know that he looked pretty proud walking into the field with his dad to check his corn.  I do know that the kid that I can barely get to read the minimum minutes required each week all school year, read 3 times the amount just this weekend.  Maybe getting to be a real farmer like dad will motivate him not only on the farm, but in the rest of his life.  Time will tell.

Thank you to DuPont Pioneer for letting a little boy become a farmer in the making.

-A Kansas Farm Mom