Daylight Savings – Spring Forward. Fall Back. Not For Farmers

Alarm clock in sunlit spring field

The onset of Daylight Savings Time each year makes me think of Lawrence Dorrell.

Lawrence was a veteran lobbyist for farmers in the Indiana legislature for many years. When I began my career as a farm organizer a gazillion years ago, Lawrence was considered the Dean of the Indiana lobbyists. He had spent decades patrolling the halls of the Indiana state legislature looking after the interests of the state’s farmers.

I asked Lawrence one day about his proudest accomplishments in working with the state’s lawmakers. Lawrence ticked off a number of issues, then added with a smile, “I am most proud that I kept Daylight Savings Time out of Indiana.”

For most of us, the spring-forward ritual each spring simply means that we’ll have an extra hour of daylight for the next several months for cookouts, gardening, and kids’ activities. But Mother Nature doesn’t adjust her clock to fit our schedule.

For dairy farmers, the 4:30 milking every morning and evening now becomes a 5:30 milking. Cattle ranchers this time of year are busy from sun-up to past sundown, no matter what the clock says. It’s no wonder that several of the states with strong agricultural interests balked at Daylight Savings Time. Lawrence convinced Indiana lawmakers in 1970 to keep that state out of Daylight Savings Time.

Through the years, most farmers have learned to adapt to the semi-annual rhythms of daylight savings time. Indiana even joined Daylight Savings Time in 2006.

As you enjoy that extra hour of daylight this spring, give a nod to those farmers whose work goes on seven days per week, no matter what the clock indicates.

 

 

 

 

 

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