Lessons Every Farm Kid Learns While Growing Up

Lessons Every Farm Kid Learns While Growing Up

You either lived on a farm or you wished you did.
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Growing up on a farm is an experience unlike any other. Any person who has been lucky enough to grow up on a farm or work on one understands that agriculture is not easy business. It will knock you down quicker than you can imagine but will raise you back up onto your feet with the promise of a new season with all new possibilities.

As a farmer's daughter, I saw first hand how challenging life can be at times but, the importance of never giving up and doing something that you are passionate about. Because I witnessed the struggles of farming at an early age, it became pretty obvious to me that I was different from other kids. I may not have had the chance to go on vacation every summer, had any video games, or had the opportunity to hang out with friends whenever I was bored but I still had a lot of other things. I had an abundance of pets, tractors and four wheelers to ride whenever and wherever and family that was always close by. The things I had made me feel fortunate. I was fortunate to have unique experience and learn unique lessons that only a farm kid will understand. Here are some of the lessons I've learned from growing up on a farm.

1. You learn to be an early morning riser and morning person.

Two choices were offered to you each morning. One, you could get out of bed peacefully without hearing your parents tell you that it was time to wake up. Or, two, you waited silently hoping that they would forget to wake you up so you could sleep in a little bit. But, as the years went on, you realized that it was easier to simply wake up when the sun began shinning through the window because you had work to get done. And now, waking up early is simply a habit and mornings are a time of peace and quiet that you cherish.

2. You learn that free-time and weekends are nonexistent.

Farming is not a 9-5 job. It is a from dawn until after dusk kind of job that is done 365 days a year. However, when there is some free-time (which is mostly on Sundays) naps were the most common activity in my family.

3. You learn to love the outdoors.

There's nothing better than fresh air and the view of a corn field as it grows.

4. You learn that there are two kinds of people: International Harvester or John Deere and Ford or Chevy.

In the country, trucks and tractors are so much more than a means of transportation. These two machines are a means of expressing oneself and a way to create friendships or rivalry whichever the case may be. But, in all honesty, there is no competition because International Harvester tractors are simply the best.

5. You learn responsibility and teamwork.

Farming isn't a one person job; therefore, the more people helping to get a job done, the better it is. Plus, the weather will only cooperate for so long which makes it crucial to work together with other people and get the work done within a timely manner.

6. You learn how to help other people without expecting anything in return.

As previously mentioned, farming isn't a one person job so helping others when they are in need is key to not only their success but also your own. Also, you never know when you might be the one who needs help.

7. You learn where your food comes from and believe that the food that you produced will always be better than anything store bought.

On a farm, the cattle are raised by you and your family from the time the animal is born until it is fully matured. You know exactly how much grain it was fed verses grass, how frequently it went outside and if the animal had been treated with any antibiotic. Or, you plowed the ground and planted that field of sweet corn and watched it grow daily. Nothing tastes better than something you worked hard to produce and watched mature.

8. You learn how to care for animals and after awhile see them as a part of the family.

9. You learn that no matter how hard you work, something will always go wrong and it will usually be during harvest or planting season.

There are many times I watched my dad leave early in the morning to go milk cows then jump in the combine to get the crop off before the weather changed. It never failed though, no matter how hard he pushed to get the crop off before the rain or snow set in, the weather drastically changed or the combine would break down not only once, but twice, and maybe even three times. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly something can go from good to bad to worse in agriculture.

10. You learn to think that the strangest things smell good.

Two words: corn silage.

11. You learned to drive at an early age and can now drive anything.

Learning to drive a tractor was probably the first thing most farm kids learn how to drive and gradually move up the ranks from a small utility to a large articulating tractor and eventually cars and large trucks. In other words, whether the machine has two, three, four or six wheels you can and will drive it. Also, standard or automatic transmissions don't matter, you can drive either confidently.

12. You learn to appreciate agriculture and have the utmost respect for farmers.

Agriculture is not for the weak or for those who can't overcome hard-work and challenges. A farmer is someone who works 16 hours a day because they love the work that they do. Let's be honest, without the crops that farmer's produce, there would be no food to support the increasing population. For that reason alone, farmer's need the respect of all people. Not the treatment that they typically receive which is looked down upon.

There are many lessons that I learned growing up on my family's dairy farm which shaped me into person I am today. I will always be thankful for the way I was raised because in the midst of having fun, I was creating lasting memories and learning life lessons. I am proud to say that I am a farmer's daughter because as Luke Bryan once said, "You either lived on a farm or you wished you did." Well, I was one of the lucky ones to have experienced a childhood unlike any other. Even now as I sit in my dorm room many miles from home, I often find myself wondering what I could be doing at home right now and counting down the days until I am back on the farm again with a shovel in my hand.

Cover Image Credit: Alexandria Gourley

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Why High School Musicals Should Be As Respected As Sports Programs Are

The arts are important, too.
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When I was in middle school and high school, I felt like I lived for the musicals that my school orchestrated.

For those of you who don't know, a musical is an onstage performance wherein actors take on roles that involve singing, and often dancing, to progress the plot of the story. While it may sound a little bit nerdy to get up in front of an audience to perform in this manner, this is something you cannot knock until you try it.

For some reason, though, many public schools have de-funded arts programs that would allow these musicals to occur, while increasing the funding for sports teams. There are a few things that are being forgotten when sports are valued more than musical programs in high schools.

Much like athletic hobbies, an actor must try-out, or audition, to participate in a musical. Those best suited for each role will be cast, and those who would not fit well are not given a part. While this may sound similar to trying out for say, basketball, it is an apples to oranges comparison.

At a basketball try-out, those who have the most experience doing a lay-up or shooting a foul shot will be more likely to succeed, no questions asked. However, for an audition, it is common to have to learn a piece of choreography upon walking in, and a potential cast member will be required to sing a selected piece with only a few days of preparation.

There are many more variables involved with an audition that makes it that much more nerve-racking.

The cast of a school musical will often rehearse for several months to perfect their roles, with only several nights of performance at the end. Many sports practice for three or four days between each of their respective competitions. While this may seem to make sports more grueling, this is not always the case.

Musicals have very little pay-off for a large amount of effort, while athletic activities have more frequent displays of their efforts.

Athletes are not encouraged to but are allowed to make mistakes. This is simply not allowed for someone in a musical, because certain lines or entrances may be integral to the plot.

Sometimes, because of all the quick changes and the sweat from big dance numbers, the stage makeup just starts to smear. Despite this, an actor must smile through it all. This is the part of musicals that no sport has: introspection.

An actor must think about how he or she would respond in a given situation, be it saddening, maddening, frightening, or delightful. There is no sport that requires the knowledge of human emotion, and there is especially no sport that requires an athlete to mimic such emotion. This type of emotional exercise helps with communications and relationships.

Sports are great, don't get me wrong. I loved playing volleyball, basketball, track, and swimming, but there were no experiences quite like those from a musical. Sports challenge the body with slight amounts of tactic, while musicals require much physical and mental endurance.

The next time you hear someone say that it's “just a musical," just remember that musicals deserve as much respect as sports, since they are just as, if not more demanding.

Cover Image Credit: Cincinnati Arts

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11 Superheroes I'm Most Nervous For In 'Avengers: Endgame'

Listen, Marvel, I didn't make it all this way for you to kill off all of my faves.

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SPOILER WARNING: If you have not seen the movies up through Avengers: Infinity War, be warned, there will be spoilers ahead.

I love superhero movies. I have been watching the Marvel movies ever since the first "Iron Man" came out. Each time there's a new film, I love to see what the writers have come up with - at least until "Infinity War." It was devastating to watch all of the heroes fight Thanos only for him to snap half of the population into dust. Well, our wait for the next part in the saga won't be that much longer. "Avengers: Endgame" comes out in April, and we already have trailers! Based on how "Infinity War" ended and the trailers for Endgame, here are the heroes I worry about in the next movie.

1. Iron Man

The poor man had to watch Spiderman turn to dust, and now he's lost in space! I can't handle it if Tony Stark dies. Just let him live!

2. Captain America

I know he made it through the dusting, but Chris Evans made a post about saying goodbye to Steve Rogers, so I am WORRIED!

3. Thor

Thor has lost everything, so at this point, who knows what he is willing to do to save the world.

4. Loki

I know he died. I do. However, I am worried that he is ACTUALLY dead and not just pretending to be dead only to show up as his father again.

5. Groot

I was devastated when Groot died in Guardians of the Galaxy, so I DON'T want to go through that again.

6. Bucky Barnes

Bucky just can't catch a break. He was just minding his business in Wakanda and then he got dusted. Where is the justice?!

7. Sam Wilson aka Falcon

I love Sam's friendship with Captain America, so I would hate to see anything happen to him!

8. T'Challa aka Black Panther

Wakanda can't lose another king! Plus, who will Shuri make fun of?

9. Rocket

Rocket didn't deserve to watch his best friend get dusted! I just want him to be happy!

10. Gamora

She had such a sad death scene, but that can't be it right?? Please, don't tell me that's how her story ends!

11. Peter Quill aka Starlord

While I'm still mad at him for ruining the plan to take the gauntlet from Thanos, I still don't want anything to happen to him!

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