A Passion For Farming

‘So God Made a Rice Farmer’s Daughter’

By Jenna Martin

Jenna Martin, 17, of Hickory Ridge, Ark., is the 2013-14 Miss Arkansas Rice. With this title, she will promote rice throughout the state. Jenna ends each of her speaking engagements with the following poem, which describes her passion for farming.

“The first time I heard ‘So God Made a Farmer’ was during the Super Bowl last year,” Jenna says. “After I was crowned Miss Cross County Rice, I was thinking of a way to end my speech with something that affected people like that poem did me. I came up with a similar poem that related to my life as a rice farmer’s daughter.”

You all know that on the 8th day God made a farmer, on the 9th day God made a farmer’s wife and, as you might have guessed, on the 10th day, God made a rice farmer’s daughter.

God said, I need someone strong enough to get up early in the morning, drive tractors, disk fields, plant and water and still love what she’s doing, so God made a rice farmer’s daughter.

God said, I need a girl who works as hard as she can putting in spills or working on equipment, just to get the job done.

God said, I need someone who through a two-month drought in the summer will pray to the Lord for a rain that’s needed and may only receive 1/4 of an inch and still trust with faith in God, knowing that He will take care of her family and farm, sigh and say maybe next time. She will thank the Lord for everything He has done and keep praying every day for allowing her to farm His land, so God made a rice farmer’s daughter.

He said, I need somebody who can heave 50-pound rice bags, load the drill, pull levees and put in spills all with a smile on her face and sweat on her back.

God said, I need a girl who isn’t afraid to get a little dirt or calluses on her hands and, with those same hands, pet her 13-year-old Lab at feeding time, no matter how late that might be. Those same hands cuddling kittens in the loft of the shop and making sure the hummingbird feeders are full. Those same callused hands are used to shake the congregation at church on Sunday morning.

It had to be someone with a strong work ethic, who wouldn’t complain about having to get up early, work all day in the fields, come in late, eat supper and get up the next morning ready to do it all over again, so God made a rice farmer’s daughter.

Jenna Martin, daughter of Dennis and Jennifer Martin, helps her dad on the farm in Cross, Jackson and Woodruff
Counties where they grow 1,850 acres of rice, soybeans and grain sorghum.

I am proud to be a rice farmer’s daughter, and I have a passion for farming.

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