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  • Writer's pictureJenna Stevens

U.S. Farming Olympics

The summer Olympic Games have begun and athletes from all across the world are competing in various events to see who is the best to receive that gold medal. If these athletes are the best in the world, it got me thinking how do they compare to farmers? Farmers are kind of like competitive athletes. They are doing physical activities and racing to be the first one done with planting, spraying, and harvest all year long. With this competitive thinking in mind, I started comparing the Olympic Games to farming activities.

One activity that takes place at the Olympics is the 100 meter dash. Farmers have competed in this event more than they know. This event usually occurs when the farmer has realized they left the head gate open on the chute and the cattle are already coming up the alley. You can see farmers “unhook the plow” and reach top speed when this occurs, often while running in manure compared to a fancy track. Another event that happens at the Olympics is the balance beam. This event is usually performed by gymnasts, but I think farmers could compete as well. For they have had a ton of practice with this activity especially during fall when a snout on the combine head breaks. Farmers sometimes balance themselves on the snout, jump in the air, and stick the landing right on the snout and try to hit it back into place. The only major difference between the two is that if the farmer fails there is no soft gym mat to catch him underneath, just some hard corn stalks. I have a great video on my phone of my dad jumping on a combine snoot last fall if anyone would like to watch for a comparison. Another event Olympians compete in is high jump. I believe farmers could be extremely competitive in this event and even attain a gold medal. They practice this event all through calving season. When farmers are in a pen with a newborn and cow, it can take them only a matter of seconds to run and jump the fence to get away from an angry momma cow. Adrenaline has a lot to do with their ability to clear a tall fence so quickly. Last but not least, farmers could dominate in the shot put category at the Olympics as well. Most farmers have spent every summer chucking hay bales and straw bales. A 16 pound shot put ball wouldn't phase them.

I strongly believe that if farmers continue their daily training then in four years when the next Olympic Games takes place we could easily have some farmers on the USA team. Imagine how cool it would be to hang a gold medal in the shop, however I think farmers would rather win a new hat. Keep practicing and if you're in need of a coach, I would be happy to help!

~ Kesley Holdgrafer

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