I’m not a tobacco farmer.

If there is one thing I learned from our last VALOR seminar in Southside Virginia, it’s that I can’t grow tobacco. We were fortunate enough to visit a nice family tobacco farm. I was one of the lucky ones that left with a few tobacco plants. We had eight plants in a cut off Coke bottle just to give you a perspective on the size. The extension agent plucked them out of the greenhouse for Lauren and I who wanted to try our hand at growing tobacco. I’m still super excited about it!


But honestly, my plants aren’t doing the best. They are about half the size they should be. I don’t know a thing about growing tobacco plants. There is more to it than just planting, watering, and fertilizing.

My four tobacco plants are a reminder of something I already knew…

If you want your hair fixed right – go to a hairstylist. If you want your car fixed right – go to a mechanic. And if you want your tobacco raised right – leave it to a tobacco farmer!

Our world is full of do-it-yourselfers. Pinterest has grown wildly popular and it’s a DIY paradise. But just because you can nail a few pallets together doesn’t make you a furniture maker. You can become an “expert” about anything by doing a Google search. You can even learn to raise and milk your own cow!

A physician I know has her own cow. Actually she’s on her second. The first one “unexpectedly” passed away. I couldn’t believe it! It’s a perfect example of just letting the professionals do what they do best. The cow likely had signs that something was wrong but the owner didn’t know enough about taking care of a cow.

As simple as farming may seem from the outside and as much as you want to be the best do-it-yourselfer ever… Sometimes you should let the pros do it. This year is probably my last year growing tobacco but it has been a good lesson.

Along the same school of thought, this Fourth of July weekend, leave the fireworks to the professionals. Don’t join the 15 people that celebrated their last 4th of July in 2015 while trying to do it themselves.


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