On unofficial day of celebration of children in the United States is National Son and Daughter Day. Started in 1936 in the state of Missouri, by J. Henry Dusenberry after hearing a boy ask why there was not a holiday for children. The holiday gained momentum in 1944 when the St. Joseph News-Press/Gazette on August 20, 1944 printed an article about the holiday and interviewed J. Henry Dusenberry. After the article several clubs and organizations started celebrating and prompting the holiday. In 1972 a congressman from Florida presented a bill to have National Son and Daughter Day become an official holiday, but congress never voted on the bill. People still celebrate the holiday for children.
National Son and Daughter Day celebrate our children. Some parents are allowed to take their children to work. Sharing a day with their child, showing them what their parent does at work. A day to focus on the children, spending time and connecting with them.
Children are a great gift of life, and our future. Every person was a child at the beginning of their lives. There is Future Farmers of America that work at teaching and encouraging youth to become farmers as adults. Most farm youth work on the farm when not at school or doing school activities. My children worked beside me raising horses. They participated in 4-H, raising pigs, rabbits, and chickens as projects.
But I have known ranches and farms being sold when a parent becomes too ill to work it or passes away due to the children not wanting to work the ranch or farm. I enjoy farming, the daily work, the joy from the animals, and working outside. My children enjoyed being raised on the farm, but have chosen different careers. In my family situation, there is no one to hand the reins of the farm over to, it will be sold.
How do we keep youth interested in farming? Is farming something that is in the innermost being of a person, or the “blood” as some say?
That is the great question for most parents and grandparents who want to keep the farm in the family. They want the years and generations of toil and at times sacrifice to continue forward, a living legacy and heritage. But many children find having a steady and secure financial job better than the gamble of farming and ranching.
I wish I had the answers. Unless there is someone to grow the livestock and crops, the stores will not have the food to put on the shelves.