As a young boy growing up when the original Star Wars trilogy came out, I wanted to be Luke Skywalker. Not only was he really cool, he also grew up on a farm.
Humble, hard working, and honest. These are words that often describe farmers. George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, could have chosen any background for his lead character, but the qualities of farm life are what made us believe in Luke’s ability to succeed.
“The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.”
In the Star Wars universe the force exists in everything and the Jedi can harness it for good or evil. While farmers may not call upon the force for help, they do have to do work with nature, read it the best they can, and use it for good. The life force of every farm resides in the farmers ability to raise healthy animals and crops while ensuring the farm survives to the next generation. Doing anything less leads to the dark side.
When Luke Skywalker lost his arm and hand in battle he used modern technology to replace it with a mechanical one. Today’s farmers embrace new tech from robot milkers and GPS enabled tractors to genomic testing of animals and GMO crops. Remembering what worked in the past while pushing towards the future are what keeps farms sustainable.
Most farmers may not be known across the universe by name, but that does not mean they are not making a difference. In the battle against hunger and for affordable food, a farmer today feeds 155 people worldwide. Jedis and farmers? Yes, I think we need both.