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Farming isn't always a side-splitting, gut-busting, fall-off-your-chair-laughing experience. Unless you're Jay Hendren.
Hendren is a unique combination of farmer and standup comedian. He works on his family's farm in Johnstown, Ohio, raising corn, soybeans and wheat. When he's not in the field, he's on stages across the U.S. giving audiences a humorous view of life on the farm.
The agricultural comedian makes rural life particularly amusing by pointing out John Deere is a tractor, not a letter from a dyslexic girlfriend. Those who enjoy county fairs can relate to Hendren when he says he loves the animals there - brown cows, corn dogs and elephant ears.
Hendren, who earned the title of Funniest Person in Columbus in 1998, said he spends about half his time on the farm and half his time doing comedy. Luckily, the two schedules mesh well. During the spring and fall Hendren can concentrate on farming; in the summer and winter, he focuses on comedy.
However, it's those months when he turns his attention to the farm that his jokes seem to flourish. He said he credits his material to "lots of solitary confinement." "I spend a lot of time in the tractor by myself," he said. As Hendren rounds the fields over and over, he not only harvests beans and corn, he cultivates his next crop of laughs as well.
Whether in business on a farm or in a corporate office, Hendren said inserting clean, down-home laughter into the daily routine can have multiple benefits for any company. "It should make you feel better and healthier," he said. "I try to make everyone feel good and leave them in an optimistic mood."
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