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A Variation on Goldilocks and the 3 Bears

I’m beginning to feel like an actual college student – a high school graduate with a career path and a good deal of knowledge about her university and such. It only took nearly two years.

This week (on Spring Break), I had the privilege of representing the William H. Darr School of Agriculture at a couple of events near my home town. Overall, it’s been quite the learning experience.

Event 1 – Eldon Career Center

I found out the day that break began for me that I would be heading north that evening so that I could be in Eldon by 10 Friday morning (which sounds like nothing if you’re used to getting up early, but I’m a college student – 9 is early, and 6 would have been way too early).

Together with one of my classmates and fellow Ag Ed majors, I gathered a bunch of recruitment materials (which turned out to be not nearly enough), and prepared for the day.

We arrived in our very official ag nerd garb (school of ag button-downs and khakis), and were very soon flooded with high schoolers. It was interesting, because we saw everyone – from freshmen to seniors. Much like me in high school, almost no one knew the right questions to ask (and unfortunately for me, I didn’t always have the answers to the questions they did ask). It was a lot of fun describing my school though, and it reminded me how incredibly proud I am to be a student there. More than that, it showed me how indescribably lucky I am to be at Missouri State University.

In high school, I didn’t know what I wanted to major in, let alone where I wanted to do so. I always thought I would be at Mizzou, but the more contests I attended there, the more I realized it wasn’t really for me. The campus and classes were too big, and I didn’t want to be lost in a crowd. I loved the University of Central Missouri when it came to their music program, but the ag program there was way too small. Both universities were too close to home for me too – I love my family, but I didn’t want an excuse to drive home every weekend.

So basically, it was a lot like Goldilocks and the 3 Bears. MSU was just right. And it is more so each day I spend there. I’ve learned so much, come to respect my professors as community leaders and people as well as academics, and found an awesome family of students who can line dance in the Student Activities room and still dominate an agricultural quiz bowl competition.

I was proud this week to wear my MSU Bears maroon and share my school spirit with high school students – I can only hope that they will find somewhere just as fun and challenging as I have to learn and grow.

Well, it looks like I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to write about my second event – it’s technically already tomorrow and I have plans that require sleep tonight.

Until then, don’t forget to be awesome and Farm Out Loud!

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Summer Rain

Rain in the Heartland

Photo courtesy of KOMU 8 and Michele Ridenour from Montgomery City, Mo.

Thank God for rain in the Heartland yesterday morning! After about three weeks of hot, dry and thirsty fields, Monday morning brought heavy storm clouds to our Mid-Missouri farm and the surrounding area. The rain had perfect timing as far as we were concerned, though we would have taken it gladly had it arrived a bit earlier. Sunday, as my family and I got my little brother registered and settled in at UCM Music Camp, my uncle finished harvesting the last of our 500+ acres of wheat. Harvest took just five days – but hundreds of gallons of fuel. 

Have you ever thought about how much fuel (& driving time) it takes to bring in a harvest? Well, obviously there’s the combine operator, but there’s also the grain truck driver, the taxi driver (this is my job when I’m home), not to mention the tractor, sprayer, water truck, and all the errands that have to be run just to get a good crop ready to harvest. As the taxi driver, I get to drive a normal truck around to the different farms to help my dad get all of the equipment he needs from point A to point B before he gets started.

It’s like those awful riddles from elementary school:

“Once upon a time a farmer went to market and purchased a fox, a goose, and a bag of beans. On his way home, the farmer came to the bank of a river and rented a boat. But in crossing the river by boat, the farmer could carry only himself and a single one of his purchases – the fox, the goose, or the bag of the beans.

If left alone, the fox would eat the goose, and the goose would eat the beans.

The farmer’s challenge was to carry himself and his purchases to the far bank of the river, leaving each purchase intact.

How did he do it?

This is part of everyday life for farmers. In fact, Sunday afternoon I ran the taxi for my dad to prepare for the rain that we sincerely hoped was coming. We made several trips back and forth between the different fields where he had been working and the storage facility that would protect the equipment and product (grain in trucks) from the rain. Dad had to figure out what to take first and how to park the different machines to make sure it all fit. I had to figure out how to drive his long bed four door pickup truck, which is far too new for me to be allowed to drive (my car is a 99, and I’m not even sure about it all the time because it’s big and low to the ground).

Problem solving skills are sometimes a mystery to me – I like to think that I’m good at that kind of thing, but really I’m good at the intellectual and informational side. Putting the same skills to practical use is a different story. When I got Dad’s truck sort of stuck in a hole driving across a waterway (which he told me to cross), all I could do was throw up my hands and radio Dad behind me for help. He’s sort of a pro at fixing problems for other people, too. He’s come to my rescue for dents, flat tires, and other motor vehicle mishaps – even when I was over an hour away from home.

Do you have a favorite farmer to call when everything goes wrong? Or are you the one who gets all the phone calls from common sense challenged people like me?

Maybe schools need a class in common sense. I’d enroll. 🙂

Farm Out Loud!