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