It’s true I am a farmer and farmer’s wife, but long before I assumed these roles I was a farmer’s daughter. I grew up in the country, and I helped care for calves and cows as soon as I was big enough. I understood that we had more chores to do at home than my friends in town, but it wasn’t a big deal. My parents were farmers, and that was my normal.
I have always identified with my farm roots, but they are still only one part of me. I know I sometimes write about how farming sets me apart from the norm and the mainstream. I do this because I hope to share my truths about farming and agriculture with all of you who don’t get to see it everyday. I don’t do it to be exclusive or divisive or claim my experience is somehow better. It’s quite the opposite. I like sharing stories and pictures because I want them to be inclusive. I also welcome your thoughts and questions. Celebrating our differences is beautiful, but we also share so many commonalities.
No matter what you do, where you live, or what you look like — I suspect we have more in common than you realize.
I value family, friendships, working hard and smart, and enjoying free time when I can. I guarantee all of you could say the same. It doesn’t matter if our jobs, family and friends, or free time activities look different. I also care about animals, as I know many of you do. JR and I adopted both of our dogs when they were adults, and we love that we could provide them a good home.
What do you think? Couldn’t we be the couple down the hall or down the street from you with our two dogs, our young marriage, and our evolving plans and dreams?
Caring about animals absolutely extends to our dairy cows. I’m concerned about safe and humanely raised food, and I take my part in it seriously. I believe in responsible modern medicine for people and animals alike. I know medicine can be used safely in food animals because I see it first-hand, but I also know people have concerns relating to it. (A lot of puzzling mis-information surrounds this issue, so if you’ve got questions let me know!) It’s true that livestock are different than pets, but we absolutely value keeping farm animals well cared for.
Just like you have hobbies and interests beyond work, I have interests beyond the farm too! If you read my blog regularly you know that I love to run. I enjoy training for some goal races every year and mixing in yoga, biking, and strength to keep things interesting. Exercise makes my mind and body feel good, and working toward goals is a big motivator. Who doesn’t love endorphins? ☺️
I am also a writer. For those of you who blog I know you can relate to the frustration of trying to find just the right words or tone to share something important. Many posts I write are great concepts in my mind first, and the finished words don’t usually live up to my original vision. I keep writing though, and occasionally I create something that takes off and inspires people. That makes all the words I agonize over worth it.
I may live far from the bustle of the city or suburbia, but I still face the same challenges many of you face too. My house gets messy and full of “stuff,” my yard work gets away from me, I struggle with work/life balance, and I have to budget time and money just like everyone else. Some things are simpler in the country, but other things are more complicated — like getting your roads plowed in winter or finding fast internet!
My faith is central to my whole life, and I’m open about being Christian. It doesn’t make my life easier or perfect, but it is the foundation I know I am created to stand on. I also feel blessed to have a wide readership from many geographies with different beliefs and backgrounds. While I feel passionate about my own beliefs I am also interested and respectful of those different than mine. From the many comments and interactions here over the years I can tell many of you feel the same, and that makes me grateful. It’s amazing to me how much good can be found in the online community if you look for it.
I love ice cream, coffee, chocolate, red wine, or a fresh grilled cheeseburger as much as anybody. I know I’m not alone in that! I also love berries, peppers, radishes, new potatoes, snap peas, beets, and tomatos, especially when they finally come into season in Minnesota. Food doesn’t have to be about absolutes. A wide variety of foods can be good choices and there’s still room for a few treats, don’t you think?
Most of all, we have our humanity in common. We aren’t flawless, but we care about others and work toward our goals, plans, and dreams. We all face challenges, and we can choose how we respond and work through those challenges. I know certain issues can divide many people, but today I kept thinking about all the things that connect us. I’m thankful to all of you who connect here, and I appreciate each perspective.
What are some other things you think we may have in common?