Duke Cannon Good Folks Project: Paul Cain, Farmer
Paul Cain is a farmer. He’s been raising corn and soybeans and maintaining a herd of black angus cattle for the past 35 years. He works tirelessly to raise the crops needed to put food on our tables, and in his “spare time,” Paul contributes to the community by educating youth through 4-H and FFA and serving on the local bank board to extend financial help to other farmers. Nominated by his son, David Cain, an Ag teacher, we are pleased to recognize Paul Cain as our first honoree of the Duke Cannon Good Folks Project. As David so eloquently wrote: “Nothing is more organic, or American, than raising a steer, feeding it corn and hay that you planted and harvested, butchering said steer and spending a Friday evening grilling (rain, sleet, snow, or shine) for your family while enjoying a cold beer or whiskey.”
DC: What’s a typical day look like?
Paul: Every day is different and season dependent. The day generally begins around 6 am by shot-gunning a pot of coffee. After convincing my assistants (top right) to wake up, the cattle are checked for any new calves that were born overnight and fed. Mid-morning I generally receive phone calls discussing world and local markets and positions to take. Currently, I am getting the tractors, plantar, and field equipment in working order for spring planting in a few weeks. This involves replacing and greasing parts, changing oil, and occasional busted knuckles. Once the weather conditions allow, David or Stephen, sons, or my brother Matt will prepare the fields and I will follow them a few hours later planting. Depending on weather, this can be a 6 AM to midnight type of job. The same can be said later in the fall during harvest with someone running the chase cart alongside the combine and another in the grain truck. A ham sandwich and a bag of Cheetos usually constitute a working lunch in the cab of a John Deere tractor or upon an implement. If markets are good then the afternoon consists of coordinating individuals to haul last fall’s harvest to the elevators. The afternoon also continues with more fieldwork, accompanied by my continuing educational lectures led by Hannity and Rush. The evening concludes with a shower, a cold one, and a hot meal before preparing for tomorrow.
DC: Why did you choose one of the most demanding professions known to man, instead of say, becoming a celebrity blogger?
Paul: I enjoy being self-employed as well as providing for myself and others. It is an incredibly rewarding and humbling career as I prepare multiple facets for planting and harvest yet rely on the uncertainty of Mother Nature to cooperate. It also allows me to stay in touch with nature and the Good Lord. I am always in awe of doing fieldwork during sunrise, sunset or as a storm front approaches. I believe in “leave it better than you received it”. This is why we practice no-till or minimal tillage, tiling and utilizing cover crops. We are stewards of the land and I hope to pass this mantra along. Also, if you are a celebrity blogger, how have you contributed anything to society other than lowering the IQ of people who spent the time to read your article? Get your hands dirty, literally, and do some real work.
DC: What’s one skill that a farmer has that the general public doesn’t generally know about?
Paul: Being a better meteorologist than that local “weather man” on TV. Otherwise, we are pretty good welders. We are constantly figuring out how to fix a broken part or machine as best we can, with what we have lying around, and as quickly as possible. When all else fails I have lots of duct tape and 9 gauge wire handy.
DC: What beer or whiskey pairs best with your homegrown black angus cattle?
Paul: A generous two finger pour of Blanton’s Single Barrel Kentucky Bourbon. Bonus if you get someone else to supply.
DC: When is the last time you’ve decided to take a “me day” by sleeping in ’till 11 and indulging in a little pampering?
Paul: Never, what the hell does that even mean? My last “Me day” that began at 11 AM was when I started a colonoscopy prep. Enough said.
DC: What Duke Cannon product should every farmer have?
Paul: Every farmer should have the following:
- Old Milwaukee Big Ass Beer Soap – Full of nostalgia, a few regrets, and it’s the closest thing the Mrs. will allow to a shower beer these days.
- Heavy Duty Hand Soap – it’ll take the grease, oil and cow s*** right off
- Cold Shower Cooling Field Towels – because when you’re sweating your ass off in 100 degree heat covered in dirt and grime from fixing something, nothing about you smells like roses.