Tractor Drives and Life Lessons

This post was originally shared to the Illinois Farm Bureau Young Leader blog. You can find the original post here.

Our county’s annual Farm Bureau Foundation Tractor Trek was held on a beautiful day back in mid-June. Each year I find great enjoyment in tagging along and acting as unofficial photographer for the day. I love to spend the afternoon in my car, following a line of nearly 60 tractors, and jump out at each break to visit with the drivers and snap a few photos.

Over the years my duties have changed from county Farm Bureau Intern, to Ag in the Classroom Coordinator, to Foundation Board Member. But regardless of my responsibilities to the event, I’ve created many memories and learned many lessons along the way. As I reflect on all these memories and lessons, I thought I would share a few with you.

  1. Slow down and appreciate your surroundings. We live in a fast-paced world. Fast cars. Fast internet. Fast food. Tractor Trek reminds us that life doesn’t have to fly by. When we slow down and enjoy the ride, we can truly appreciate the beauty of the world around us.
  2. Help a friend in need. In tractor drives and in life, you’re going to have a few breakdowns. Things may not always go as planned. One minute you’re rolling along, and the next minute you’re stuck on the side of the road. Luckily, we have some great volunteers at our tractor drive that make sure everyone gets back up and running to finish out the day. These helping hands have taught me the importance of being there for a friend, and that we never have to go it alone.
  3. Don’t let a bad day get you down. Over the years, we’ve had cool breezy days, rainy days, and scorching hot days. Regardless of the weather, the tractor drive goes on. While talking with a driver this year, I mentioned how it would turn out to be a great day if the rain held off. His response: “Every day is a great day.” It sure is, and I won’t soon forget that.
  4. We can accomplish so much when we set aside our differences and come together for a common cause. On the day of Tractor Trek, it doesn’t matter if the drivers are men or women, young or old, or like red, green, blue, or yellow tractors. Instead, everyone finds something in common and uses it to reach the same goal. In this case, a shared love of tractors helps raise funds for our county’s Ag in the Classroom program. Just imagine what we could do if we applied this rule to our everyday lives.

In my opinion, Tractor Trek is the best event of the year. The tractors and routes may change, but the friends I’ve gained and lessons I’ve learned will last a lifetime. Does your county Farm Bureau host an annual drive? If so, I highly encourage you to get involved. You won’t regret it!

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