Farming requires faith first, good fortune second

Wow, where has the summer gone? I am sitting here in my office, overlooking corn stalks that are about 8 feet tall. The farmer, Mr. Connor, should have a bountiful crop this harvest.

Did you ever stop and ponder the faith a farmer needs? Well, I have.

My wife and I have been blessed to live in rural Hancock County for almost four decades. During that time, it has been my pleasure to become acquainted with a lot of farmers. They farm acreage in Hancock, Shelby, Rush, Henry and Marion counties. So you see their labor extends well beyond my vantage point, here in southern Hancock County.

It goes without saying that agribusiness in Hancock County is huge. We relative newcomers to this county have learned to get along with our agricultural neighbors.

Hancock County had its beginnings back in the early 1800s. Hancock County was platted in 1828. We, people of the county, are quite an eclectic group. We have not only our rich heritage in agriculture but we have the cities and towns of Greenfield, New Palestine, Fortville, McCordsville, Spring Lake and Shirley (each with its own rich history).

We have approximately 72,000 people living within our borders. Some have said that we are a doughnut county to Marion County, and we are. This will bring more commercial ventures to our county.

As I have previously stated. My wife and I are blessed to reside in rural Southern Hancock County. Even though technically we do not reside within the borders of New Palestine, I do claim New Pal as my town.

We are a family-focused suburban community. It took a lot of faith for these early settlers to come to Hancock County. New Palestine was incorporated in 1871. Let’s return to the faith aspect.

It took faith for the early settlers to move to Hancock County.

It also takes faith for a company like John Morell to invest in our county.

It takes faith for the Hancock Regional Hospital to operate on a daily basis.

What is faith? I was always taught that faith was confidence or trust in a person, thing or a belief. To the farmer, that faith, by nature, needs to be great. I can look out and see these magnificent corn stalks. However, they did not just magically appear overnight.

No, Mr. Connor, and others before him have tilled and worked this land way before my wife and I built this house. We have watched, over the years, this 45-acre plot, be lovingly, and carefully nurtured. A few years ago, there was a serious drainage problem. In came the big machines to tear up the ground. Large spools of corrugated tubing were laid. The water was diverted off of precious crop land. The land seems to lie dormant in the winter. Or does it?

I am sure that a mixture of fertilizer and nutrients are at work, already preparing for the harvest of 2017.

But what about faith? The farmers must have faith that everything goes smoothly. That they have put in just the right amount of seed; also, that the seed will develop, mature, and grow into mature ears of corn. They must have faith that our Lord God Almighty will provide the right amount of rain and sunshine for that seed to develop.

Some say that farming is a gamble. I say it is a work of faith. For you see all the hard work, planning, purchasing of equipment and long hours of labor all hinge upon the weather.

We in Hancock County will have our petty disagreements with our neighbors, our politicians, our school teachers and our houses of worship. But Hancock County, Indiana, is a great place to live and rear a family.

I do not know about your faith. But as for me and my house, my faith is in the Lord God Almighty.

When Jesus was questioned by his disciples about faith, he answered thus: in Matthew 17:20, his disciples were perplexed that they could not cast out demons. Jesus answers about faith. He said you lack it.

“You have so little faith; you need to have faith as a mustard seed.”

Basically what he was saying that a mustard seed was small but from these seeds, the mustard plant grows.

It has been said that mustard seeds are the world’s healthiest food.

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Noelle Steele is editor of the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3232 or