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Live life with the gate open

Hoosier Perspectives: Embracing the unknown in this season of change is exciting.

Allison Lund, Indiana Prairie Farmer Senior Editor

April 15, 2024

3 Min Read
Goat kids in a pen
WHERE TO NEXT? Just as these goat kids ponder where they’ll head when the gate to their pen is opened, I think about the fun opportunities and moments to come as I start this new adventure with an open gate. Allison Lund

I graduated from high school in 2020, which typically conjures up memories of masks, empty store shelves and days spent working from the kitchen table. For me, it was a period of the unknown. I can’t recall when exactly I wrapped up my virtual classes or began getting ready to embark on a new journey at college in an entirely different state. However, what I do remember is the anxiety, fear and nerves — and excitement?

I say that in a confused tone because those who know me know that I am a worrier. When I don’t know what is going to happen, I spend every minute of every day stressing about how a certain scenario will look. The only time I didn’t let the fear completely consume me was when I took off for Purdue from my cozy life in Wisconsin, diving headfirst into the unknown.

History repeats itself

As I embark on this new journey with Indiana Prairie Farmer, I feel like I’m experiencing déjà vu. Once again, I’m headed into the unknown, but I could not be more excited. However, I’m not really facing the unknown this time.

Tom Bechman has acted as a guide over the past couple of years, showing me just how special Indiana agriculture is and how I can help make sense of the ever-changing agriculture industry. Mark Tucker, my ag communication professor at Purdue, has also nudged me along and helped me not be so afraid of the unknown. And the entire Farm Progress family has welcomed me in, showing me there really is no unknown.

Most importantly, folks across Indiana have made me ditch that idea of the unknown and shown me this is home. I can’t begin to express how thankful I am for the conversations I’ve had and people I’ve met during my short time living in the state. It’s those experiences that have changed my perspective and make me excited to keep learning and growing in my new home state.

Did someone leave the gate open?

I say all of this to return to that first round of diving into the unknown just before I left for Purdue. As salutatorian of my high school class, I was tasked with writing a speech that would be pre-recorded and shared online during what would have been our in-person graduation ceremony. I stared out into our pasture at home and watched my goat kids bounce around as I tried to think of where to start my speech.

Then, the idea hit me: Life should be lived as if someone left the gate wide open. On the rare occasion that someone would forget to close the gate at home, the goats and cattle and sheep would excitedly rush through the opening, without knowing where they’d be headed next.

I thought this would be a great message for my fellow classmates as we each took off in a different direction, forever leaving behind the comfort of our childhood. The ironic part is that’s how I feel now — even more so than I did when I left for college. I don’t know exactly how this new adventure is going to look, but I am so excited to jump into it and see where it takes me.

If this new path looks anything like the past few years have during my time in Indiana, I have nothing to fear. And if I keep meeting the talented, bright, endearing and welcoming individuals I’ve had the privilege of knowing during my short time here, then I know I’m in great hands.

About the Author(s)

Allison Lund

Indiana Prairie Farmer Senior Editor, Farm Progress

Allison Lund worked as a staff writer for Indiana Prairie Farmer before becoming editor in 2024. She graduated from Purdue University with a major in agricultural communications and a minor in crop science. She served as president of Purdue’s Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow chapter. In 2022, she received the American FFA Degree. 

Lund grew up on a cash grain farm in south-central Wisconsin, where the primary crops were corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa. Her family also raised chewing tobacco and Hereford cattle. She spent most of her time helping with the tobacco crop in the summer and raising Boer goats for FFA projects. She lives near Winamac, Ind.

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