Thanksgiving From the Ranch

Dr. Tieraona Low Dog

As we prepare for a day of feasting at the ranch, I am particularly grateful for those who lovingly till the soil

— Tieraona Low Dog, M.D.

My morning started early and cold, moving the horses to the meadow, loading up hay, filling water barrels, tending chickens, gathering eggs, feeding the dogs and cats, all before we sat down to breakfast. And as I begin to prepare the feast of gratitude for our family this holiday season, I think of all those who thoughtfully care for the land and gently tend their animals. And I think of Paul Harvey and say a few lines from God Made a Farmer out loud.

For all that is wrong, and ugly and unjust in the world, there is so much that is good, and right and beautiful. And that is what I will hold in my heart today.

“God said, “I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt and watch it die, then dry his eyes and say, ‘Maybe next year.’ 

I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from an ash tree, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, who can make a harness out of hay wire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. 

Who, during planting time and harvest season will finish his 40-hour week by Tuesday noon and then, paining from tractor back, put in another 72 hours.” So God made the farmer.

God said, “I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bales, yet gentle enough to yean lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-comb pullets, who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the leg of a meadowlark.”

It had to be somebody who’d plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed, and brake, and disk, and plow, and plant, and tie the fleece and strain the milk. 

Somebody who’d bale a family together with the soft, strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh, and then sigh and then reply with smiling eyes when his son says that he wants to spend his life doing what Dad does. “So God made a farmer.”

Or maybe, a daughter who says, she wants to spend her life doing what Mom does…. “So God made a farmer.”


Blessings and gratitude to all of our farmers.