Being a dad makes life more enjoyable, one dad said
By Diego Flammini
As Father’s Day is this weekend, Farms.com connected with dads in the American farm community to chat about fatherhood, how it has changed them and to provide a piece of advice for new dads.
Corey Grove (CG) and his wife Heather raise grains, chickens and hogs in York County, Pa. The Groves have three children: Paige (3), Austin (5) and Ava (7).
Randy Kron (RK) is president of the Indiana Farm Bureau. He grows cash crops in Vanderburgh County. Along with his wife Joyce, the family has two children: Victoria (34) and Ben (30).
Kevin McGrain (KM) raises cash crops and cattle in Woodbury County, Iowa. With his wife Amanda, the McGrain family includes three daughters: Maisy (10), Elsa (7) and Maple (11 months).
Kevin Cox (KC) raises corn, soybeans and cattle in Parke County, Ind. Together with wife Brenda the couple have three children: Trent (34), Sarah (33), Trisha (27).
Farms.com: Describe where you were when you found out you were going to be a dad for the first time. How did it make you feel?
CG: I don’t exactly remember where I was, but I know I was excited.
RK: That was many years ago and hard to remember, but I know when we found out there were a lot of emotions - naturally we were very excited, but also worried about what we were getting ourselves into.
KM: I was in line at the co-op in my straight truck hauling corn in. Amanda brought me lunch and that’s when she told me. I was happy, excited and scared like any new parent would be.
KC: I remember I wanted a bicycle for my birthday and she came riding it on the driveway and told me she wouldn't be able to ride the bike much longer. When I asked her what she meant it was then she said we were going to have a baby.
Farms.com: Describe the feeling of holding your newborn for the first time.
CG: It’s breathtaking knowing that’s your child you helped create.
RK: There was instant love and then a little bit of nerves. We said a prayer and hoped for the best.
KM: It’s absolutely amazing.
KC: I was terrified and scared to death I was going to do something wrong.
Farms.com: What’s the best part about being a farm dad?
CG: Being able to have my kids with me on the farm and learn what hard work is.
RK: Getting to raise kids on a farm and passing down that farm experience to them. My wife also works on the farm by operating the tractor, combine and whatever needs to be done. We are patners on the farm and in life. My son, Ben, also helps run our farm, so it's a true family affair.
KM: Watching them grow up on the farm and seeing all the little things they learn along the way.
KC: The idea of being able to share my passion with my kids.
Farms.com: What’s the hardest part about fatherhood?
CG: Having to correct our children.
RK: Worring about your kids. You want them to do well in life and worrying that they will be okay is the hardest part.
KM: Knowing if you’re doing the right thing whether that’s telling them right from wrong, disciplining and things like that.
KC: Letting go and letting your kids make mistake and learn from them.
Farms.com: What’s a misconception people have about fatherhood?
CG: It’s not as easy as people make it look.
RK: Even if you do everyhing right, parenting is not always going to be perfect. There are curveballs in life and unexpected events may be thrown your way.
KM: How it feels. It’s one of the most amazing things in the world in my opinion.
KC: That it's easy. It's a hard job but it's the best job.
Farms.com: What’s your dad’s name? What are some special memories you have with him?
CG: My dad’s name is Todd. I grew up on a pig farm and I spent a lot of time with him in the barn with the little piglets.
RK: My dad's name was Wilbur. He worked at Soil Conservation Service (currently known as NRCS), so some of my best memories are helping my dad with surveying conservation practices in the summertime.
KM: My dad’s name is Carl. He let me drive a tractor when I was four by myself. We had to get a calf back to the barn and we chased it from behind.
KC: My stepfather raised me. His name was Victor and he got me started in farming. If it wasn't for him I wouldn't have the success I do today.
Farms.com: What’s one lesson you learned from your dad you try to teach your kids?
CG: Hard work. I learned my work ethic from my dad that’s something I want to pass along to my kids.
RK: One lesson my dad taught me is to leave things better than you found them. That mindset is something I teach my kids. Both with Ben managing the family farm and with Victoria, who is a teacher.
KM: Work hard.
KC: He taught me to see the good in every situation and to work hard. Don't expect anybody to hand you anything.
Farms.com: How has fatherhood changed you?
CG: It’s made me enjoy life a lot more. I can look forward to being with my kids rather than just working all the time.
RK: It's made me more responsible because you are literally accountable for someone else. It's also made me have more determination to provide a good life for my children and give them the things they need.
KM: I have slowed down a lot and made them the focus of my life.
KC: It makes you focus on someone other than yourself. My wife and I waited five years before having children and then they become your life.
Farms.com: What’s one thing all dads have in common no matter where they are in the world?
CG: Unconditional love for their children.
RK: I think all dads just want what's best for their kids. They want to work hard to give their children a good life.
KM: Dad jokes.
KC: Wanting your kids to succeed and be happy.
Farms.com: What’s one piece of advice you have for new dads?
CG: Don’t be afraid to let children fail a little bit.
RK: Just do the best you can and pray for your family. It's not going to be perfect and there will be challenges along the way, but it's all about how you handle those obstacles and getting through them as a family.
KM: Work is never more important than your children.
KC: Enjoy them while they're small. I didn't do that because I was working all the time and it wasn't until my youngest came along and started getting older that I realized how much I missed over the years.