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The Frugal Farmer - What My Dad Taught Me

Updated on July 9, 2014

My Father The Farmer

Farming - it's not for the faint of heart! It requires hard physical labor, and yet my Dad would not choose to do anything else for all the money in the world. Yes, it's true, money can't buy happiness, but it can buy cows - which is pretty much the same thing for my Dad. He lived the simple life, which today can be a complicated task. My Dad's convictions were clear, and he lived them every day of the year. As a farmers daughter, I learned certain non-negotiable values that will last me a lifetime.

Image Credit: All photos on this lens taken by me, Glenda Motsavage, with the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX150

John Deere-themed Gifts... - Perfect For The Farmer In Your Family!

John Deere Born 2 Farm License Plate
John Deere Born 2 Farm License Plate

This is the perfect novelty license plate for your farm friend!

 
Vandor 28089 John Deere 13.5" Cordless Wood Wall Clock, Multicolor
Vandor 28089 John Deere 13.5" Cordless Wood Wall Clock, Multicolor

I love this John Deere-themed wall clock! Perfect for a farmhouse or barn!

 
Tractor Tin Sign 8 x 12in
Tractor Tin Sign 8 x 12in

This humorous sign would be perfect to hang in the barn, or where ever the tractors are parked!

 
John Deere Logo Thick Sherpa and Fleece Green Blanket
John Deere Logo Thick Sherpa and Fleece Green Blanket

Cozy and comfortable fleece blanket for those cold nights on the farm!

 

John Deere... - My Dad's idea of off-roading

Me and my little Sister with Dad's John Deere
Me and my little Sister with Dad's John Deere

Hard Work... - The 1st Life Lesson My Dad Taught Me

A Farmer's Work is Never Done!
A Farmer's Work is Never Done!

What's a day off? My Dad didn't know - he was a farmer. You don't get anything that you don't work hard for. That was his belief. Even his physical appearance sported that signature 'farmers tan' and calloused hands. His arms were stronger than anyone I knew. Strong enough to wrestle a rebellious farm animal, or two.

I fondly remember Dad's daily routine: Get up before dawn and milk the cows. Work all day in the fields. Eat supper... or maybe not! Milk the cows, go to bed, get up and do it all over again. And again, and again! There were no days off - no sick days, no vacation days, no paid holidays. Of course Dad worked a forty hour week... by Wednesday! Then he would put in another forty or so. After a long day harvesting the hay ahead of the rain clouds, he was willing to stay up all night delivering a newborn calf, watch it die - then dry his eyes and say 'maybe next year.'

In winter's chill or summer's heat...

A farmer works so the world can eat

— Author Unknown

Have You Ever Visited A 'Working' Farm?

See results

The Fulkroad Farm

Click thumbnail to view full-size
My Dad Working the FieldsOne of My Dad's BarnsThe HomesteadEat More Chicken!I Would Not Want to Tangle with Him!Sisters at Heart - Even Though We're 18 Years Apart!'Brownie'... Yes, the Animals Each Have a Name!
My Dad Working the Fields
My Dad Working the Fields
One of My Dad's Barns
One of My Dad's Barns
The Homestead
The Homestead
Eat More Chicken!
Eat More Chicken!
I Would Not Want to Tangle with Him!
I Would Not Want to Tangle with Him!
Sisters at Heart - Even Though We're 18 Years Apart!
Sisters at Heart - Even Though We're 18 Years Apart!
'Brownie'... Yes, the Animals Each Have a Name!
'Brownie'... Yes, the Animals Each Have a Name!
The Harvest!
The Harvest!

Frugal Farmer Fulkroad...

The 2nd Life Lesson My Dad Taught Me

Frugal farmer Fulkroad. That's how my Dad was known to everyone. He operated on a cash basis - no credit cards for him. "If you can't afford to pay cash for it... you don't need it!" That's what he would always tell me. But he didn't just 'talk the talk,' he 'walked the walk.' I mean he payed cash for everything - vehicles, farm machinery, animals, etc. Trust me, if he were running our great country, we wouldn't be broke! He saved money more than he spent it. If there was an organic (okay, cheaper) method to do anything, he would find it.

Dad knew that life's most important things, were not 'things.' Material possessions didn't interest him. To him, true joy came from watching the crops ripen in the field. He never used a computer or had a desire for a cell phone. These things cost money - money he could use on seeding and weeding, feeding and breeding, plowing and planting.

I know there's a farmer out there somewhere who never wants a PC and that's fine with me.

— Bill Gates

My Dad's Fan Club

Cows listen to your problems and never ask a thing in return.  They will be your best friends forever!
Cows listen to your problems and never ask a thing in return. They will be your best friends forever!

One out of every 12 jobs in the economy is connected in some way, shape or form to what happens on the farm.

— Tom Vilsack ~ US Secretary of Agriculture
My Dad, My Sister and I at Danville Medical Center
My Dad, My Sister and I at Danville Medical Center

Farmers Are Fighters!

Farming ranks among the most dangerous occupations in the United States. According to an article by the Centers for Disease Control on USA.gov, in 2010 (the most recent statistics released) 476 farmers died from a work-related injury. Every single day about 243 farm workers suffer a debilitating injury. The number one cause of accidents and death are tractor overturns. Other causes would be pesticide exposure, pulmonary disease, musculoskeletal disorders and hearing loss.

My Dad was also a farming accident victim, which forced him to give up the 'love of his life' prematurely. Early one Tuesday morning, seven years ago, Dad headed out to the live cattle auction as was his weekly custom. This is an auction barn where livestock are bought and sold. Kinda like rural America's version of the stock market. Those who get there early can tour the animal pens to get a close-up look at the size, age, quality and health of the animal. Being short-handed that day, my Dad offered to help weigh the bulls and prepare them for auction.

As he stood in the arena, he never saw it coming. A full-grown bull charging up behind him, gave him a head-butt that sent my Dad flying through the air and landed on a concrete slab... on his head! Bleeding profusely from his head (amongst other injuries) it was determined he would not make it to the hospital alive. That's what they told me when I received the phone call. They life-lined him via helicopter where, once again, the surgeons said he would not make it through the night. The bleeding and swelling from the brain was too extensive.

But... they didn't know about the 'God-factor!' I believe in the power of prayer. I must; I am the recipient of a medical miracle myself because of prayer. Now it was my turn to 'pay-it-forward.' And pray I did... for hours, for days, for weeks, as Dad lay in intensive care. And, once again, God seen fit to release a miracle to our family. Dad awoke from his coma, and within 3 short months he was back on the farm - not nearly at full capacity, but caring for his beloved cattle the best that he could. Now he's battling a curse of a different kind; that dreaded "C" word. But... farmers are fighters!

I love you Dad. And I'm so grateful for all the life's lessons you taught me.

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What Is The Number One Life Lesson Your Dad Taught You? - Please share your thoughts...

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    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
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      Glenda Motsavage 2 years ago from The Sunshine State

      Ah yes, aesta1. Sometimes I miss the simple life. I'm sure you've found that those words of wisdom from your uncle are timeless - they never go out of style! Thanks for putting 'The Frugal Farmer' on your traveling itinerary today!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Growing up, my greatest treat was to be allowed to go to the farm with our farmer relatives. There, I always enjoyed. Each night, our farmer uncle would tell us stories. I still remember them now, wisdom from life like your Dad's.

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
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      Glenda Motsavage 3 years ago from The Sunshine State

      @favored: A wise saying that you learned from your Dad - It reminds me of the Scripture in Romans that says "All things work together for good..." It's awesome you were able to visit and enjoy your Grandfather's farm; many never get to have that experience. Thank you for the prayer of agreement on behalf of my Dad - Amen, and Amen!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 3 years ago from USA

      Dad would say, "Things have a way of working out..." I have enjoyed looking at your photos. It reminded me of my grandfather's farm and milking the cows. I only did it once, but never forgot the wonder of it all. I pray God will manifest His power in your father's healing.

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
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      Glenda Motsavage 3 years ago from The Sunshine State

      @Heather Grayson: Every day something reminds me of that truth!

    • Heather Grayson profile image

      Heather Corbett 3 years ago

      Awesome lens! It sounds like your dad was an amazing man.

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
      Author

      Glenda Motsavage 3 years ago from The Sunshine State

      @RinchenChodron: Oh I would love to hear you sing! Singing is so healthy for us. It releases endorphins which make us feel instantly happier, it is a natural stress reliever as it also releases oxytocin, it's good for our brain - and on and on, the health benefits are so numerous! Now... go sing a little ditty, and enjoy your day RinchenChodron!

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 3 years ago

      He taught me to sing!

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
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      Glenda Motsavage 3 years ago from The Sunshine State

      @norma-holt: Your Father was a wise man! Lying only promotes more lies in order to cover-up the initial one! I may not be perfect, but like you, I've learned to live an honest life. I'm so grateful you stopped by today!

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 3 years ago

      What a great tribute lens. I know your dad as I have met him a thousand times over in the people I know, especially my own father, The number one lesson he taught me as a very young child was never to lie. "If your never lie you will never get into trouble" he convincingly told me. Needless to say I never do.

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
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      Glenda Motsavage 3 years ago from The Sunshine State

      @georgepmoola2: Thank you for the kind words... a GREAT Dad, too!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 3 years ago from Arkansas USA

      My dad demonstrated a great work ethic - and his love of books. What a wonderful tribute to your dad! Thanks for sharing him with us.

    • georgepmoola2 profile image

      georgepmoola2 3 years ago

      A great lens!

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
      Author

      Glenda Motsavage 3 years ago from The Sunshine State

      @SusanDeppner: Ahh yes, the love of books! Regretfully, reading was never instilled in me as a child. Only in the last few years, in the midst of my writings, have I found the joy of reading. I cannot believe what I have been missing! I always love your visits, Susan!

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
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      Glenda Motsavage 3 years ago from The Sunshine State

      @Merrci: Ah yes, the Fan Club... funny but so true! Good to see your smiling face once again Merrci!

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
      Author

      Glenda Motsavage 3 years ago from The Sunshine State

      @Kim Milai: Thanks for sharing something your Dad taught you... and for visiting!

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      Sweet lens! Your dad had it right I think. It must be so rewarding when the crops are high, ready to pick, or even with the little buds come through the ground. Talk about a 24/7 job. Enjoyed reading this so much. Love the fan club too.

    • Kim Milai profile image

      Kim Milai 3 years ago

      Great lens on your Dad. I learned the love of the arts through my Dad.

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
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      Glenda Motsavage 3 years ago from The Sunshine State

      @Hairdresser007: LOL...Great advice, my husband would agree with that! I'm grateful for your visit today!

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image
      Author

      Glenda Motsavage 3 years ago from The Sunshine State

      @asereht1970: Yes, and timeless too! Thanks so much for stopping by today!

    • Hairdresser007 profile image

      James Jordan 3 years ago from Burbank, CA

      Don't get up until your spouse is actually walking out the door. !!!!HAHAHA

    • asereht1970 profile image

      asereht1970 3 years ago

      Great tribute for your Dad. His pieces of advice are so sensible and practical.