If you are having trouble figuring out what your children are going to do during the next three months of summer vacation, don’t blame the farmers. They aren’t responsible for school being out in the summer.
There is a common belief that summer vacations are a legacy of our agrarian history…a relic of a time when schools let out so that children could work on their farms. It makes total sense. That is, of course, unless you understand farming.
Every day is generally a work day on the farm, but spring and fall are the peak seasons.
In farming, the hard work for most crop farmers begins as soon as the spring sun warms the soil. That’s when there are long days tilling the ground and planting the crops. Meanwhile, cattle ranchers are out in their pastures around the clock helping mother cows deliver the year’s crop of calves.
In fall, crops must be harvested, processed and stored. Ranchers head out to gather their herds to wean the calves and check the health of their animals going into the winter months.
That’s not to say that summers aren’t busy. Winter wheat farmers will be harvesting their crops across the Midwest in June and July, and alfalfa growers will be out on summer evenings baling hay. But summer certainly isn’t the crunch time in farming. And summer vacations didn’t come about because of the farming calendars.
No, summer vacations likely came around because it simply gets so darned hot in the summer.