“A couple guys in first class on a flight
From New York to Los Angeles,
Kinda making small talk killing time,
Flirting with the flight attendants,
Thirty thousand feet above, could be Oklahoma.
Just a bunch of square cornfields and wheat farms,
Man it all looks the same,
Miles and miles of back roads and highways,
Connecting little towns with funny names,
Who’d want to live down there in the middle of nowhere?
They’ve never drove through Indiana,
Met the men who plowed that earth,
Planted that seed, busted his ass for you and me,
Or caught a harvest moon in Kansas,
They’d understand why God made those flyover states.”
— Lyrics from “Flyover States” by Jason Aldean
I’m on a plane pretty much every week. Whether it’s to speak at a conference or to tour a farm or food facility to write about for this column and social media, it never ceases to amaze me just how beautiful it is to fly over the beautiful farmland and countryside.
As a common window-seat dweller, I find myself taking so many photos that really don’t always give the views justice. I’m also often finding myself getting that Jason Andean song, “Flyover States,” stuck in my head. Mr. Aldean was right.
It’s a song that can touch anyone’s heart. It’s a view that can make anyone melt. It showcases the beauty and the countless hours of hard work that farmers and ranchers put in everyday to feed and clothe the planet.
Why does anyone even think to call them the “flyover” states?
I call them the stay-awhile states.
The place to sit and call home, kick up your feet and enjoy a good home-cooked meal with dear friends and family states.
The states full of family farms and strong roots with homegrown values.
A place to be a caretaker for God’s country.
States that consist of a hard day’s work, connecting with the land and the beauty all around us.
A place to pour your heart into animals everyday, caring for them from sun-up to sun-down and, at times, all hours of the night
Areas with no traffic; full of peace and quiet, where the city lights are replaced with fireflies and stars that shine bright.
These aren’t the flyover states … they’re the states we in rural America we call home.
And we wouldn’t have it any other way.
“On the plains of Oklahoma
Where they windshield sunset in your eyes
Like a watercolor painted sky
You’d think heaven’s doors have opened
You’ll understand why God made
Those flyover states.
Take a ride across the badlands
Feel that freedom on your face
Breathe in all that open space
Meet a girl from Amarillo
You’ll understand why God made
Why you’d want to plant your stakes
In those flyover states
Have you ever been through Indiana
On the plains of Oklahoma,
Take a ride.”
Jason Aldean was right. Take a drive through Indiana, the plains of Oklahoma, open heaven’s doors to farm country and plant your stakes. You’ll understand why God made those flyover states.
Michelle Miller, the Farm Babe, is an Iowa-based farmer, public speaker, and writer, who lives and works with her boyfriend on their farm, which consists of row crops, beef cattle, and sheep. She believes education is key in bridging the gap between farmers and consumers.