10 of the most iconic farming quotes in history


A lot has been said and written about agriculture since the dawn of human civilization. Some good, some bad, and a lot that isn’t worth repeating. I’m probably guilty of the last one. But there are some farming quotes so good they stick out and are worth repeating.

So I’ve compiled a list of the most iconic quotes about agriculture, farmers, and country life. Iconic is something that is considered symbolic. It sums up a characteristic of the whole. And I think these quotes do that for agriculture.

1. “Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field.” — President Dwight D. Eisenhower

In other words, unless you’ve lived it, you don’t know as much as you think you do.

2. “No race can prosper until it learns there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.” — Booker T. Washington

We have to recognize that everyone serves an important role in society. From farmers to rulers, we’re all important.

3. “Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness.” — Thomas Jefferson

Also, without agriculture we would all get pretty hungry. So Tommy’s observation is spot on,

4. “Farming is a profession of hope.” — Brett Brian

Every year the spring comes. And every year we plan those crops and try again. Every. Single. Year.

5. “Those too lazy to plow in the right season will have no food at the harvest.” — Proverbs 20:4

This Biblical passage has wider applications than its literal interpretation.

6. “The farmer has to be an optimist or he wouldn’t still be a farmer.” — Will Rogers

There are so many things that can devastate a crop: weather, markets, accidents. … Farmers have to believe none of them will happen.

7. “When tillage begins, other arts follow. The farmers, therefore, are the founders of human civilization.” — Daniel Webster

Farming might not be the first profession. But it’s a pretty close second.

8. “I would rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world.” — George Washington

Every. Single. Day.

9. “The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways.” — John F. Kennedy

It’s funny how some things don’t change.

10. “The story of family farming underscores a legacy of sustainability.” — Amanda Zaluckyj, The Farmer’s Daughter USA

Sure, I took some liberties declaring this as an “iconic” agriculture quote. But it’s the one thing I wish more people understood better. So maybe one day it’ll be iconic.


Amanda Zaluckyj blogs under the name The Farmer’s Daughter USA. Her goal is to promote farmers and tackle the misinformation swirling around the U.S. food industry.

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