There is Joy in Sharing

Recently Missouri Farmer Today came for a visit to our farm.  They were looking for a woman who is active on the farm.  They were given my name as someone who may be willing to speak with them.  To say the least I was surprised.  Very surprised!  You see, I don’t label myself a Farmer or even a FarmHer.  I see myself as a farm gal who does what needs to be done, when it needs doing and in turn, try and share what it is we do with readers of this blog.

When the story came out last Friday I was again surprised, but pleased with the article and the title, “Joy of Sharing“.  I never know how I come across to others and hoped that my love of the farm and my passion for sharing our farm story came through.   So, thank you Benjamin Herrold, for your visit and your story not only about our farm, but also about women farmers and how we are an important and growing trend in the world of agriculture.

Four Daughters

As the article mentioned, I am one of four daughters.  FOUR GIRLS born and raised on a hog, row crop, and hay farm in north central Missouri.  Mom was a city girl who would come to the country to visit her grandparents’ farm and would attend church where my dad and his family were also members.

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After getting married, it was off to Vietnam for dad and a new home for mom.  A few years later dad was safe and sound farming at home and mom was busy taking care of us girls.  She used to sew for us and made all of our pretty little dresses.  (Yes, we wore dresses)

From the beginning they raised hogs.  At first the sows (mama pigs) had all of their babies in small individual huts and pens outside.  Over the years buildings were built and the sows moved indoors to have their babies.  I still remember how big I thought the mama sows looked when I was little and that we would sit in the wagon and hold the runts as they were being moved to the nursery.  On shipping day we would go early in the morning to the finishing floor to watch the “fat” hogs being sorted out and loaded on to the truck.  As I got older, I helped with the sorting and loading.

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My sisters and I were the hay crew in the summer.  The barn washers in the winter and sometimes even the field crew in the fall.  Don’t get me wrong, we still were able to participate in 4-H, FFA, school organizations, and sports, but when there was work to be done, you did the work first.  Being involved in 4-H we all spent time showing livestock.  We showed pigs, of course, but we also had our own heard of Hampshire sheep.
Then in high school, two of us also decided to show cattle.  Showing livestock was a passion of mine.  Did not matter what species, I wanted to show, care for and display my livestock at the county, area and state fairs.

Show days

In college I majored in Ag Education thinking I would one day be a teacher and FFA adviser.  Lets just say as much as I loved being in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources at Mizzou, I did not excel in my ag classes.  This was hard for me.  I really thought I knew what I was doing and what my future was.  Then I met a boy and put my future in the hands of God and have not looked back since.  Seth is a year older than me and when he graduated from college, he already had a trainee position with a feedlot in Texas.  Have you ever tried to plan a wedding while living almost 600 miles away from your Fiance?  We did it and at times I think it was easier; all he had to do was show up at the right time on the right day.

Newlyweds

After living in Texas for a year and Kansas for six, we have now been back in Missouri for almost six years.  We knew that the farm was the place we would one day be and because again we left the “plan” up to someone else, it happened.  Seth and I had only been dating a few months when I brought him home to meet the parents and I showed him one of the farms.  I told him then I would someday live here and lo and behold here we are.

Four sistersI am sure raising four girls was not easy.  I am even more positive that raising four girls on a hog farm when the market dropped in the 80’s and again in the 90’s was not easy.  We made it work though and no one ever went without.  We were taught to work hard, and given that we were girls, were taught that we COULD do the work.  Oh sure, there were jobs we did not like doing and some of us could get out of those jobs (Jody), but at the end of the day I think we will all say that growing up on the farm made us confident, hardworking, dependable and trustworthy individuals.

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Now I have two young girls who I am raising on the farm.  They are both unique and different in their own ways.  One is tall and lanky and smart as a whip.  The other is a ball of fire and already as strong as an ox.  Together they are best friends and each other’s favorite playmate.  Together they show me every day that what I do is more important than what I say.  If I say, “time to do chores,” but I never go out and help, that shows them that as a mom I don’t do that type of work.  If I say, “it is time for chores everyone,” and go out and help and spend time with them, that shows that as a mom I enjoy being with them and that we all have to do our share on the farm.

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As our farming story continues, I hope you have realized that the joy I have in sharing comes from a life time of being on the farm.

Blessings to you and farm women everywhere,

Laurie – Country Link

 

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30 comments on “There is Joy in Sharing

  1. Deb says:

    Well written, Laurie! You are a great farm mom!

  2. Deb says:

    I believe I spotted Uncle Steve and Grandpa Wood in one of those photos!

  3. This was such a nice story… I love hearing how people came to be farmers!

    • Thank you! I don’t usually share about me, but I do think it is very important to share the role women can and do play when it comes to farming. Some days it is the computer I sit in front of and some days the steering wheel of a tractor. Have a wonderful day Caitlin!

  4. Anne says:

    Beautiful post, Laurie. Your genuine sincerity always shines through in your writing. I am raising my own three girls on a farm, and it is one of my life’s greatest blessings. I am so glad that you all made your way back to the farm — there is something special about coming home.

    All the best to you and your family,
    Anne

  5. Carrie says:

    Great job Sis! (Pics are questionable!) 🙂 I love your perspective and your love certainly comes thru in your blog, I think you give people a really great view of the farm and how important it is for all of us, even us softies that are now “city people”! “Going home” will always be to the farm for all the reasons you mentioned and now with having my son, he understands the same perspective and loves to be part of it as he grows up. That is the greatest legacy we can leave for our kids, love of the land and the creatures that God put in our care. Carrie

    • The pictures were by far the best part! I did try and chose carefully. 🙂

      Thanks for reading sister! It means a lot to me to know that family reads what I write. The farm will always be home and that is a great blessing.

  6. Wow, Laurie! Beautiful story… and of course you are a FarmHER! You’re crazy for not thinking so. You’re way more involved than you could ever know 🙂 Thanks for being such a positive, strong advocate and someone to look up to!

    • Thank you Kelly! I loved your story that you posted this week and new it was time to tell some of mine. Having MO Farmer Today come was the push I needed. 🙂 I love working on the farm and know that there is nothing else I would rather be doing.

  7. Joyce Taylor says:

    This is so cool Laurie!!! I am so grateful for being a part of your life as a young 4-H member and seeing you develop life skills that are being used today.

    • Thank you so much Ms. Joyce! You were such a positive influence on me when I was a 4-H’er and even more when I worked in the State Office. 4-H taught me so much and I will always look back and be thankful for that time.

  8. J. Rhoades says:

    Love it 🙂 And I agre with Kelly, you are def a FarmHER! I hope someday I can be a super cool farm mom like you 🙂

  9. Mandy Thomas says:

    I can just imagine how hard planning the wedding was! The past 2 years (aka while I have been in grad school) my fiance and I have been 600-1000+ miles apart. It’s always tough to be far apart and make plans. I’d say it all worked out well for you in the end though 🙂

    • It did Mandy! He did help and give his opinion. The main thing he had to worry about was a place for us to live after we were married and I was moving to Texas. His little apartment was not going to cut it. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Now I have two young girls who I am raising on the farm. They are both unique and different in their own ways. One is tall and lanky and smart as a whip. The other is a ball of fire and already as strong as an ox. Together they are best friends and each other’s favorite playmate. Together they show me every day that what I do is more important than what I say.

    You summed up my girls! I love everything..the joy of sugaring, all the cute pics, that you lived in kansas for such years??? Where? You increased my farm momma pride…thank you for letting your light shine!

    • Little girls amaze me! They are so sweet and but full of spunk. Guessing I was a lot like that too. We were way out in western Kansas Amber. Past Garden City actually. Have you been there? Lots and lots of feedlots. Thank you for reading farm mama!

  11. Robyn says:

    Laurie,
    I like that you were raised to work on the farm and you are teaching your girls the same. Dad made sure Sister and I could work and keep up with the boys. We did baulk when Dad wanted us to cut the bulls at branding. I think Sister did try it.

    Grandpa was very proud of the fact his Patti could do anything; he didn’t NEED a boy to help him. Many of us ranch and farm wives come from very strong willed “stock.”

    I admire the city/town women that marry a farmer or rancher. I have an ag background and sometimes sturggle with the lifestyle. I can’t imagine learning it all new and being a newlywed.

    • If I remember right we balked at castrating pigs. I think I did try once, but only once. 🙂 We banded the lambs and that was a lot easier to do!

      I know mom was used to the farm, but it was still an adjustment, especially since their first year of marriage, dad was over seas.

      Now dad has four sons-in-law and five grandsons, so he still got his boys.

  12. jennifer says:

    Great story Laurie – I can remember when you were size of the one with Rex and all of you on his lap. Keep up the good work – telling the stories of farm life for those who have not had a chance to live it.

  13. I was so excited thinking that the black white picture of you giving the bottle to the baby calf would make this post………………..sigh, it will just join my other favorite one and be all mine I suppose! I am certain DH would have loved to have been in Seth’s shoes during our engagement, LOL Great post sista! ❤

    • Thanks my fellow farm mama! You may see that picture sometime on here. We will see. 🙂

      Was your engagement long? Ours was a little over a year and yes, it was a good thing we were far apart when it came to the planning. Not so good when you wanted to see each other and spend time together. That took a really long car ride or an airplane.

  14. Great post Laurie! I’m so happy that you share your story and I loved learning more about you in this blog post. Keep up the great work!

  15. Emily Grace says:

    Your joy does come across so clearly. 🙂

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