Dress standards for farmers are, well, substandard. In fact, we tend to take a perverse pride in wearing grunge garments.

Since the rest of the allegedly civilized world is rushing to lower professional dress codes with "casual Friday," why couldn't agriculture meet them halfway with "dress up Friday"?

What I am proposing is for farmers to open a drawer instead of groping the floor for their Friday attire. Clean shirts, or at least those with a recent oil change, close to the correct size and tucked in. Pants must be similarly sanitary, and worn above the plumber-level. Socks should be related, if not actually twins. Even jackets and (gasp) caps could be switched for one of the two dozen new ones we are saving for that special occasion which never seems to come.

To complete this exercise, we could consider pre-weekend, early bird personal hygiene, including (hold on to something stable) shaving for no real reason. Think of the admiring astonishment on the faces of your loved ones and the uplifted eyebrow of suspicion on your wife as she speculates on the motive for this change.

We are speaking about a brave, new, better-dressed future for American Agriculture. "Dress Up Friday" can be the event families and neighbors have hoped for.


*Excerpts from an article in Farm Journal by John Phipps

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