SPEAKER 1: I grew up next to a farm. For me, my vision of agriculture was their picturesque farm. It was the most wonderful place for a kid to grow up.
SPEAKER 2: Growing up, I was the oldest child of three, and we bought a house in the country with a half acre lot. And my mother assigned me the job of doing all the gardening. So I had a big vegetable garden that was my job to take care of and several flower gardens on the property. And that was where I developed my passion for gardening and growing things, particularly vegetables because I love to eat them.
SPEAKER 3: Growing vegetables is a wonderful thing to do. It's wonderful to be able to feed yourself, and your family, and others as well. But growing flowers is a passion. Every week there's something new that's starting, and there's something that's stopping. All the different flowers in their time is what makes farming enjoyable for me.
SPEAKER 4: Somewhere inside me I always wanted to farm. Now I realize it was a passion that I have and I still have today. Someone said if you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life.
SPEAKER 5: What I love most about farming is managing my own day but being able to work outside, to call my own shots each day but also pick the chores, and the jobs, things I want to do, but also be diverse, whether it's plowing ground, or mowing hay, or sorting pigs.
SPEAKER 6: I think part of what brought us to this business was the challenge. We both really like a good challenge. And so this is a very complex business that requires skills in a lot of different areas.
SPEAKER 3: It's a drive and always to find a new flower, something that's exciting, something that's different, something that no one else has.
SPEAKER 7: And that gets exciting-- trying in new plants, and new species, and things that really shouldn't live in your area because they're from South Africa. You give them a shot, and it's exciting that if you can get them to survive and an absolute ecstatic moment when they actually bloom and do well.
SPEAKER 8: To always feel like I'm learning something new. I mean, that's what I love about farming is that you get to experiment. You learn from other farmers, and that sense of community is great.
SPEAKER 9: Now, see, this is the other market. There isn't any reason why anybody can't grow these themselves.
SPEAKER 10: Right.
SPEAKER 9: Everyone is willing to help everyone else, whether you're down in the Finger Lakes. They have helped us. Or you're in Quebec. They have helped us. Or Minnesota-- they've all-- everybody shared information. It's been a wonderful thing to get involved with.
SPEAKER 11: One of the most enjoyable things of being a farmer is able to share. We share in many, many ways. One is, we share the crops. And now, I'm able a little bit to share the experience.
SPEAKER 7: Do what you love and it transpires throughout.
SPEAKER 3: I feel like I'm very successful because I'm happy and I love what I do.
SPEAKER 8: You can do it. It's just you have to be persistent and really love what you're doing, and want to do it, and have patience.
SPEAKER 5: Do it because you love it, not because you think it's a great opportunity earn money, because there's plenty of ups and downs but do it because you love what you're doing and you can't wait to get out of bed in the morning and go to work.
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Farmers share why they love their job. In the end, it is a deeply held passion that drives farmers to get out of bed every morning and slog through all the challenges they encounter.
In the Voices of Experience series from the Beginning Farmers Resource Center, you'll find the kind of dirt-under-the-fingernails advice that can only come from someone who's been there.
The NY Beginning Farmer Project is led by a team of Cornell Cooperative Extension Educators in partnership with the Cornell Small Farms Program. The project, launched in 2006 in response to increasing interest in farm start-ups, aims to enhance the likelihood of success of new ag enterprises by making the best resources and training available to new and diversifying farmers.