By Mike Barnett

I’d like to share rural Texas with you through my eyes via photographs I’ve taken for Texas Farm Bureau over the years.

We write a lot about the food we eat on Texas Table Top but haven’t done much on the rural lifestyle that captures the hearts of farmers and ranchers and never lets go. It’s a beautiful world on the back roads of Texas—where our food grows—and I urge you to explore.

Through my eyes, early morning is best. The air is fresh, the smell of earth strong, the wind still. A momma cow bellows for her young ‘un and you know all is right in the world today.


Take any back road in Texas and wonders abound. You might see somebody’s memory on the side of the road: an old homestead that saw laughter, tears, good times and bad.


Down the road an old church beckons, serving the spiritual needs of a new generation and standing eternal watch over those who have left us.


A rustic barn might catch your eye, bringing back memories of childhood: hard work, laughter and  a new adventure every day.


Seasons change by what’s going on in the field.

Spring means planting time, and rural Texas is abuzz as farmers put seed in the ground.


Spring also means wildflowers in Texas, although lack of rain might put a dent in this year’s crop.


Early summer is a time for wheat to ripen.


Mid-summer means grain sorghum and corn is ready.


And late summer and fall means cotton harvest time.


And we come to the end of the day. Chances are, a farmer’s out there working.


But even farmers and ranchers have to sleep sometime. Good night.


So there you have it. I live in the city but rural Texas is where my heart is. I encourage you to take the back roads of Texas. You never know what you’re going to find.

Need a visual fix of rural Texas? Check out the photographs on Texas Farm Bureau’s Facebook page or Mike Barnett’s Facebook page.