By Susan Hayhurst
Bloom where you are planted.
I first heard that saying from my junior high art teacher, Twila Bloom. I didn’t really understand it until I changed my way of life and married my farmer, Terry. I had so much to learn about living on a farm and how we made our livelihood. I also realized once we started our family that it was just as important our daughters learn about where they lived and share it with others.
Here are three key lessons we tried to teach our daughters.
1. We eat what we raise. They learned about our Hereford cattle and the hogs we had at the time. The girls knew their dad raised cattle to be lean and healthy, and we ate our own meat. They learned the difference between GMO and non-GMO, and what we planted and why so they could hold their own during conversations with others.
2. Everyone is a part of agriculture. As retired Purdue University Extension agent Max Miller always says, “If you eat three times a day, you’re a part of agriculture.” Our family uses that catch phrase often as we host farm tours, speak to groups or classes, or share in conversations wherever we are. We also encourage others to consider how what they do is a part of agriculture.
3. Be proud of the farm. When our girls were bullied on the school bus about the hog smell, we challenged them to silence their hecklers with visits to the farm to see the smell-inducers up close and personal. For an elementary school project, our Lillian had her daddy take her own cow and calf in the trailer to school. The girls often used the farm in 4-H projects, school papers and PowerPoint presentations. We have an “open farm” policy for their friends and ours.
What aspirations do you have for 2018? Try blooming where you are planted.
Hayhurst writes from Terre Haute, Ind.