What I Learned From Growing Up On A Family Farm
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Politics and Activism

What I Learned From Growing Up On A Family Farm

The values of working hard and a creative imagination.

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What I Learned From Growing Up On A Family Farm
Rick Holliday

I am and always will be a proud farm kid. I grew up on a family farm northwest of Williston, North Dakota. The farm is so engrained in who I am today that it is hard to imagine what I would be like without it. In fact, looking back, I can point to many things about growing up on the farm that helped me become who I am today. Some of the great things I learned were the values of working hard and a creative imagination.

The first one is one that seems like it fits the most with growing up on a farm. Truth be told, there is no shortage of work on a farm. Spring is calving season and when we plant. Summer is more free than most but still has work such as bailing hay or moving cows between pastures. With Fall comes Harvest, the busiest time of year. And finally, even in Winter we have to feed the cows everyday. What I am trying to show is that there is an incredible amount of time and effort that go into faming. From a young age, I participated in this work. I started off by feeding the cows and mowing the lawn and was soon driving tractors or trucks for whatever needed to be done. This instilled in me the value of working hard. There were several reasons for this I think. First, when you work hard the job goes by quicker. Second, a job well done doesn't need to be done again. I see this value in myself in many places, such as at my job as a summer camp counselor. At the end of every week we would get a check list of things that needed to get done before our time off. I found that during times like those I like to just go, go, go so to say, that is, to move from one job to the next until they are all done. I think this value is a very important one to have and is one that I am definitely thankful for.

The other value is that of a creative imagination. Of the two, this one is he one that might not seem to fit, but it is also the one of which I am the most thankful. Growing up on a farm, I spent much of my time outside. Nothing passes the time better outside than an active imagination. I remember great times with my cousin when we played an outdoor game we invented called "Famine" where we pretended we were on an island and had to survive. We would wander around the farm playing this game and during those times the farm was our world. We came up with other games eventually but one thing was always consistent, our active imaginations. Because I spend so much time outside playing with my cousins or siblings, I believe I developed a more creative imagination. And that is one reason I am truly thankful I am a farm kid because what I really enjoy is making stories, whether in my head or on the page.

Overall, growing up on a farm made me into who I see myself as today. I am immensely thankful of that family farm and could never imagine who I am without thinking of it.

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