“Thanks for sharing this. It’s an example of what America could be.”

That was the comment on a video I re-posted of farmers finishing harvest for a recently widowed farm wife

But, I don’t think that’s what America could be. To me, that’s what rural America already is. 

On a regular basis, I see farmers and small-town neighbors doing good deeds throughout their community. 

Like after the 2020 derecho, farmers showed up to feed people—including those working around the clock to restore power. And when a terrible animal hoarding case was brought to light in Linn County, farmers made a $2,500 donation to the shelter caring for them. 

Some needs, however, are year-round. 

That’s why Henry County Farm Bureau collected 500 pounds of food to donate to a local pantry and matched the weight with a $500 check. And because safety never takes a day off, farmers support local law enforcement, too. 

Farmers also understand the importance of honoring our veterans. From Ida County Farm Bureau members raising funds for honor flights to West Pottawattamie County helping veterans receive counseling for post-traumatic stress disorder, farmers want the men and women who protected our country to know they are not forgotten. 

But it’s about more than the past and even the present. 

Iowa agriculture depends on bright young minds to bring new technology and innovation to family farms. Understanding this, farmers from north central Iowa organized and fundraised for a high school agricultural education program and chartered a new FFA chapter. Yes, it’s about education, but it’s also about showing young adults you’re not only needed in rural America—your values and ambitions are wanted. 

I’m a big reader, and there’s a line from the book The Martian that has stuck with me: “… every human being has a basic instinct to help each other out. It might not seem that way sometimes, but it’s true.”

I believe that. And if you find yourself doubting it, call up a farmer. 

They’ll lend you a hand so you can believe it, too. 

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