Preparing for Planting:

In the middle of a war

Like many of you a part of my daily diet is staying connected to the developments in the Ukrainian war. I was drawn to an interview with a family run modern grain farmer. Ukraine farmers are on the cusp of planting season.

This farmer’s main problem was being able to anticipate the future with fuel, seed and fertilizer prices skyrocketing, not to mention a war simultaneously happening all around him.

“What will happen tomorrow? Everyone has this problem and we all have to struggle with this and somehow overcome it.”

His sage words, “None of us know what will happen, everyone has this problem” struck a chord with me.
I wonder if there is something to be learned and applied from this Ukrainian farmer. Every day he and his family get up, fuel up, go to the field and work the land. They have zero guarantees, no way of knowing the future and yet they continue in their productive lives.

In my 20’s I spent 2 years as a field manager for a large dairy farm on Vancouver Island. For me it is easy to relate to the complex problems facing crop farmers. I can still smell the crisp spring air mixed with diesel fuel. With the added commodity price fluctuations, potential shortages and a war at his doorstep I can’t even begin to imagine his situation.

And yet, every day he wakes to his alarm, fuels up and heads to the fields.

If he can farm in these conditions how much more should we be able and willing to work under our current circumstances.

Here is the challenge that I picked up from the Ukrainian farmer.

1. Set your alarm

2. Fuel up

3. Head to your field

Crops don’t plant themselves. Our lives don’t happen without our engagement. None of us know what will happen, everyone has this problem.

1. What does it mean for you to set your alarm? Is it a planning issue or an ordered lifestyle or something else?

2. Can you identify your needed “fuel?” Is it sleep, nutrition or exercise? Or is your fuel more philosophical like ideas, networks of people or divine?

3. What is the field for you today? Farmers dream and plan like the rest of us, and then they get to work. Is your field your career, your role in your family, the book that needs writing or something that only you can identify, appreciate and then FARM?

I encourage you to keep on “farming” regardless of your current situation.

Steven Falk

P.S. Don’t forget, People Can Change and The Power of Success is in TEAM

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