W

hat is it about being raised on a farm that instills values in young people? Those values also can be found among city youths but perhaps not in the same numbers.

We read with great interest a column by Allison Jenkins, editor of Today’s Farmer magazine, a publication of the Missouri Farmers Association (MFA). The title of the column was “Values From the Farm Help Raise Kids ‘Right’ .” The subhead was “Young People Today Need Traits That Rural Living, Agricultural Education Can Teach.” We agree because from many years of experience being around farm youth we found what she wrote to be true.

It is common knowledge that the breakup of the family unit is one reason why children aren’t being raised “right.” Also, our culture today has played havoc with traditional values. The editor of Today’s Farmer mentioned the values she and her husband are trying to instill in their children even though they don’t live on a farm today. They are worth repeating:

Say please, thank you and excuse me. Don’t waste food. Eat what is put in front of you. Work and do your best. Be careful with money and understand the value of the dollar. Share — with each other and with those less fortunate. 

When asked to do something, don’t say, “That’s not my job.” Better yet, take initiative to do it before being asked. Go to church. Say grace before meals and pray before bedtime. Hold family dear and cherish your time together. Be kind — to people, animals and the land.

Jenkins told of the excellent training that the 4-H and FFA programs give to students. Those groups instill values, morals and skills to youth that can translate to success in life.

The editor of  the magazine said in regard to raising children: “Make sure they have good manners, show respect for others, recognize right from wrong and refuse to take part in risky, irresponsible behavior.”

We recognized many years ago that young people raised on a farm have a great work ethic, know how to handle responsibilities and possess other values that aren’t found in many city-raised  youths.

Most of us in today’s world weren’t raised on a farm. Our culture would be better today if we were. Our values would be better.