With the largest crowd in attendance since its inception several years back, farmers, lenders and vendors gathered Friday to recognize God’s provision at the annual Blessing of the Crops and to seek his presence during the upcoming growing season.
Farmer Ryne Brannen summarized the thoughts of many when he said, “Everything we do, we’re utterly dependent on God. He provides everything we need. Without him, it doesn’t matter what we do.”
As many local farmers could say, Brannen has practically been farming since birth. “I grew up on a farm in Bulloch County, and I’ve been faming myself since 2012 and I still farm with my family.”
Sponsored by the Statesboro-Bulloch County’s Chamber of Commerce’s Agribusiness Committee, the gathering at the Bulloch County Center for Agriculture on Langston Chapel Road of farmers initially was held in the fall as a Blessing of the Harvest, rather than the current Blessing of the Crops event held annually the first Friday in March.
The event was moved to allow more farmers to participate before their busy season begins.
“I like when they moved it to March,” Brannen said. “Let’s pray at the beginning. Start the growing season off with God.”
Fittingly, most of the farmers and guests hurried quickly to get inside for the event to avoid getting drenched from Friday’s early morning thunderstorm.
“We’re always grateful for rain,” said Joel Rushing, who came to the event with his wife, Tammy. Farming for 30 years, the Bulloch County native added, “We can’t survive without prayer or rain. They both go hand in hand.”
Cassie Justen and Charlie McCook co-chaired the 2019 Blessing.
“We’re here to pray for the crops,” Justen said, “but what’s interesting to me is the huge community support we have here today. Lenders, insurance agents, pastors, county commissioners, vendors – they’re all here to support the farmers.”
After a brief time of socializing, the large group circled up and many prayed for the upcoming season.
Speer Brannen led, thanking God for the opportunity to pause before the season begins to gather collectively. He asked for blessings on everything that goes into agriculture and prayed for the leaders of the country that the country might glorify and honor God.
Elena Mclendon with the Statesboro Downtown Development Authority quoted Psalm 1:3 and related the farming profession to the verse that says in part, “Like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.”
Farmer Warren Ball prayed for safety and added, “May we be good stewards, Lord, of the land that you’ve loaned us for a short time. Guide us as we plant the seed and then sit back and watch you do your wonders.”
Terry Manuel, Farm Bureau Agency Manager, prayed, “God we look to you as the author and finisher of our faith. We know that all blessings come from thy hand above and are laid at our feet daily.”
Brother Randy Waters, with Statesboro Primitive Baptist Church, closed out the Blessing of the Crops prayer event.
“We realize how much we need you as we begin this crop season,” prayed Brother Waters. “May we be good stewards of the land and have wisdom as we approach the season. And even though you sit so high, we thank you that you look low to see needy sinners like us that cry out to you.
“And whether a single crop is harvested, or a herd of cattle raised or a single chicken taken to the market, help us know that you are enough, God. What a joy to know that you’ll never leave us or forsake us.”