The Tractor Seat Philosopher

Hey, we're all tractor seat philosophers at one time or another. It's hard not to have a useful or meaningful stray thought or two occasionally as you watch the seasons change, or get hypnotized by the repetition of rows. The one featured here, hopefully the first of many, came to us unexpectedly.

One of the members of our research team, David Wilson, called Bill Phelps cold as part of grant from the USDA to contact potential lead farmers in New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania to ask for their help in working on strategies to regenerate and strength small family farmers in the region. Through the course of several emails, Bill shared the following with us.

Bedazzled by nature
"I'm busy, but it's a labor of love I've long waited for, so it's not work. I was on the tractor from 6:30 am to 8 tonight but constantly bedazzled with nature. Fighting sparrows chasing crows and black birds, hawks checking out newly cleared fields where I'm cutting down high rye, a month old fawn trying to get out of my way running into uncut tall grass/rye and later on in the evening a doe I think looking for her fawn wondering what I was doing on this machine in her area when she had serious things on her mind, like finding her little one ... what a day, and rain laden clouds all around but letting go nothing more than a few drops toward evening. I hated to stop but the fuel gage was on that infamous "E" and I had to go to get more fuel at 8pm with still some 'time' to do more! No, not work ... wonderment."

- Bill Phelps, farm manager for a 90 acre farm in Monmouth County, NJ

Are you the next Tractor Seat Philosopher?

Share your wit and wisdom with us.