I was sixteen and still... um... fresh from the suburbs when I took a babysitting job in my new rural hometown. I spent the summer watching the kids of a hardworking pig farmer.
The mother wasn't really in the picture at the time, and you could tell- the house was missing "womanly touches," like pictures on the walls and coordinating furniture.
But for all the bare walls and outdated fabrics, this dad was doing an amazing job raising his four children. I was just there for the summer, mostly to be sure that the kids ate during the day, didn't pick on the little sister too much, and to drive them to and from baseball practice. The kids were great- it was an easy job.
Making matters even easier, the dad came home as often as he could to check in on his children, driving heavy machinery up to the house on his way to and from the hog barns.
He smelled to high heaven. He was always super sweaty. But his eyes would light up at the sight of his kids playing catch in the front yard.
Once, he came by with a dead hog in the bucket of his skid loader.
"What happened to that pig?" I asked.
He looked at me with amusement before mumbling his reply...
"It quit breathin'."
What my employer was so eloquently saying, although in not so many words, was the fundamental truth that defines farming and agriculture.
We can only do what we can do- the rest is up to God.