Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Rural gratitude December 1, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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ON THANKSGIVING MORNING, between Zumbrota and Pine Island along U.S. Highway 52, I spotted this message:


Thank a farmer, along US Hwy 52


And I thought how good that this farmer would remind us of his labor, of the crops he grows and the animals he raises, and of the food that sustains us.

Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling



20 Responses to “Rural gratitude”

  1. Ted Aaberg Says:

    Thanks for sharing the sign Audrey. As soon as I saw the wonderful words, I began to think, wish I knew the story behind it. [Scratching my head.] Did a young daughter or son play a part? Was a grade school teacher an inspiration? What were the roles of the mother and father? I have a hunch it was launched by a group effort of family and a collection of fine lessons from community leaders.

    • There are always those questions, aren’t there? I wish I had the answers. Unfortunately, I can’t stop every time I snap a drive by photo like this. So we must stretch our minds, like you have, to imagine the reasons. I like yours.

      • Ted Aaberg Says:

        Thanks Audrey. I firmly believe spreading the good word like you and the farmer with the message has a very positive effect on our communities and country. Little by little, inch by inch as W. Gutherie sings …it all helps…and as Dorothy chants follow the yellow brick road.

      • A wonderful, thoughtful comment, Ted. Thank you.

  2. Rena Says:

    Farmers do God’s work; His hand is extended to meet our needs through the humble farmer, who works and sacrifices for us.

  3. Dan Traun Says:

    Doesn’t make much sense in my mind. Perhaps is should read ” Belly full? Thank a farmer…

  4. I love to support and thank the people who grow the food and wine and craft beer that I partake in šŸ™‚ I grew up on a small farm that sustained our family and we shared and bartered with family, friends and neighbors for what we did not grow and they did and vice versa – pumpkins for apples, homemade sweets for honey, mowing or haying for lunch or some fruits and veggies. Beautiful Capture – Happy Week!

  5. Eric Dierks Says:

    I drive by this place, almost everyday and think the message is backwards as well. I still get it though.

  6. Ted Aaberg Says:

    I think farmers too write with lots of metaphor, particularly synecdoche and metonymy, which I like, just a personal taste. For example: “Hired Hand,” and “Bean walking.” It is just me, but I like those terms. I just assume the farmer is not saying I have paid money for a severed pair of hands, or have hired kids to go out and walk my beans around the block. I like picture words. I know they are not accurate, but I like the short-hand, but I suppose most English teacher would have to give out a C-. I just have a hard time criticizing the farmer. Also the word hunger is very in vogue now days especially with teenage girls with the top grossing movie/book Mockingjay. I have no idea how they interpret the word.

    • I appreciate your thoughtful comment on this message. While it may not be worded precisely right, we all understand its meaning, don’t we? I, too, am fond of those terms like “walking beans” and “hired hand.” I walked plenty of beans in my growing up years.

  7. hotlyspiced Says:

    With most people living in cities and never seeing country areas, it’s so easy to forget about farmers. We need signs like this to remind us of farming communities and all they do for us xx

  8. Sue Ready Says:

    What a great reminder for us city folks that we owe a debt a gratitude to them.

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