Growing up on the farm offers triumphs, hardships and a lifetime of lessons.
I was born a farmer’s daughter. At age 5, I helped my father farm 300 acres we didn’t own. At 6, I was fighting off roosters and bottle feeding calves that were as big as me. When I was 7, I had my first driving lesson on a lawn mower. By the next year, I upgraded to the tractor and hay rake, and the year after that was backing up wagons, pulling haybines, and baling hay.
By the time I was 10, I trekked into the forest with my father and older brothers to gather firewood for the winter. I spent the evenings as my father’s assistant, working on tractors in the shop.
I was an amateur carpenter by the age of 11—I could build a birdhouse and I helped renovate the front porch. I became the family dog trainer at 12 when I bought my best friend, a purebred border collie.
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