“Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be” – George Sheehan
This past weekend I was reminded of a legacy, a legacy that farmers and families carry on in representation of how we take pride in who we are and where we come from. My grandfather was always one who knew the importance of hard work, determination and vision. For years they struggled, living in one bedroom houses with four kids and not much to call their own. Although he may not have been proud of these moments in his life, he saw the bigger picture; he loved his family and had a vision for what he wanted for them. He had a passion in life and that was agriculture. Buying every farm he could with what little paychecks that came he built a great legacy, a farm that he could call his own and a place to teach not just his own children, but anyone willing to put on a pair of gloves, the meaning of hard work, strength, and determination.
Every day I am thankful of the life that has been given to me and the legacy that I proudly take with me. Although my grandfather passed away this past week, his lessons of “cowgirls don’t cry” will always stay with me. Some days we will come to a rough time in our lives, where we just have to trust in ourselves and the Lord to know that we are on the right path. It takes courage, determination, and will to accomplish your goals in life. Farmers take great pride in what they have built for them and their families all in effort to build a better future for their children and to help feed those around them.
This year has been one heck of an adventure. I can’t believe how fast my first year of college has gone by. It feels like only yesterday when my only responsibility was to see what I could do to pester my dad around the farm. It’s crazy to think that only last year I lived in a town with less than 600 residents, now I have over 160,000 people to now call my neighbors. It has definitely been a big change, but I have an amazing and supporting family that has made sure that I am not alone.
One thing I will never forget and will always keep with me during this time away from home, is the lessons I have learned about life over the years and never giving up on my dreams. At six years old I was to say the least, the biggest tomboy. I can remember climbing up into the cab of my dad’s 1986 International Harvester and felt as if I were on top of the world. My dad, however, seeing me trying to start the thing, had different ideas. He began his long speech “dangers” of being on such a large piece of equipment, the only thing running through my mind was the thought that I was destined for the open field.
When the time had finally come, and I was ready for my first tractor driving lesson, the job was simple; I had to move the bales that sat in the field into two rows along the side. So I started by myself and my rows were all over the place, I was having trouble catching the bale on the spike, and every bale was turning over. I was frustrated and ready to give up. Even though farming was always something I wanted to be a part of, I was ready to quit. My dad came to me and he looked at my row and started laughing, all of my bales were turned on their sides, but he told me that just because I didn’t get it today, doesn’t mean I won’t be able to SOMEday.
Like many times in our lives, an obstacle was thrown my way and I was ready to quit. I was going to give up on my love for agriculture because I failed and I was afraid of failure. We can’t let the bumps in the road force us turn back from where we are going. I was forced to learn from my mistakes, a crucial lesson that has carried with me today. I know I have a purpose in this world, and we can’t let the little things that happen keep us from reaching our goal and following our dreams. Some may say that a degree in agriculture is nothing special, but to me it is the most amazing dream. Agriculture a huge part of our everyday lives, and I cannot wait to be a part of it.
Growing up on a small Century farm in rural Missouri you could say that my life could be compared to American dream. Our operation consists of growing milo, soybeans, and wheat, along with raising a small cattle herd of registered Herefords. Being one of three daughters we had to step into a few roles that most girls never have the chance to experience. I was always a tomboy growing up climbing trees, driving tractors, and feeding the cows. My life was never too exciting but it was content and full of love. Every day I am thankful for the life the Lord has given to me and I am truly blessed to have grown up with the most amazing family that no matter what would always support me in my life’s decisions.
Growing up I had always been an active member in 4-H and had a passion for showing hogs and cattle. At the start of my freshman year of high school I was determined to become highly involved in my school and my community. I wanted to get the most out of my high school experience and in doing so I have made many friends and connections that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
It is to say the least that it was the National FFA Organization would exert the greatest contribution in who I have become today. While being the competitive person I am I became very involved. It is through these experiences from this great organization that has taught me a lot about who I am, what I stand for, and my passion for exerting a positive influence and educating others about agriculture.
I am currently a student at Missouri State University majoring in Agriculture Business with an emphasis in marketing and sales. This year I have had the most amazing opportunity to represent over 25,000 FFA members as a State Officer of the Missouri FFA Association. Advocating for agriculture is a passion of mine that at I young age, I already knew how involved I wanted to be, but it wasn’t until now that I am beginning to find my place. This blog will hopefully be entertaining, but here I will share some of my experiences of how I am taking what I have learned on the farm and beginning my life in the real world.