Why My Ag Life?
You’re not a farmer. Indeed. I never really even had the desire to be a farmer, even though I grew up on a farm and in farm country.
You don’t live in the country anymore. Fact. I very much enjoy living in the city and it is where I need to be. I don’t know if I’ll ever go back.
You don’t identify with traditional, conservative values. True. I don’t fit the conservative mold, but I still am ingrained with small town hospitality.
I don’t look country, live in the country or practice agriculture. So why start a blog titled My Ag Life? Answer: I still live country. Before I go diving into my explanation, please allow me to divulge a little. It’s relevant. I promise.
I’m not one for superstitions and pseudosciences, but if you know a little about zodiac signs then I fit the bill of a pisces almost to a T. I can be very hard to pin down. “Mutable,” is the defining term. I’m not one thing. I dabble in lots of things, and more often than not my interests don’t overlap. I’ve always had different small circles of friends that don’t really mingle with each other. It’s not that these different groups aren’t agreeable, cordial people. They just have varying values and lifestyles, and don’t do the same things as the other groups.
It’s very difficult to form an identity with such a varied lifestyle. I like a lot of things for a little bit of the time. So, it could go without saying that at times it is hard for me to understand myself, much less for anyone else to try and do so. I can be hot and cold on a lot of things, but I do have some constants. I may not be part of the 1%, but I had a 1% upbringing, and that will always be a part of me and a part of my life.
It won’t matter where I go or what I’m doing, I’ll still carry the core, defining characteristics of rural America. I’ll always hold doors open with a smile to let others pass through. I’ll always give up my seat for those more in need. I’ll always keep a firm handshake and look people in the eye when they are speaking. I’ll always smile at those I meet on the street, and I’ll always keep friends and family above everything else. I’ll probably always even give directions based on landmarks and cardinal directions instead street locations.
It’s true, I don’t inhabit rural parts any longer and the closest involvement that I have to agriculture is through my job and the advertising work that I do (Interestingly enough, I’ve learned more about ag in the past year than I ever did growing up), but I am still living country. I try to stay open and inviting to folks I meet. I try and remember my manners; always please and thank you. I try and make myself available to those that need anything, like a good neighbor would. At times I might suffer from identity crisis, but I’ll always have my foundation.
It’s quite likely that I will move even further away from farming and where I was raised, but it seems the further away I get the more country I become. At times living country is all I have to guide me, but that is still better guidance than most are fortunate to have. Living country isn’t a rural, agrarian lifestyle. It’s a set of values based on hospitality, honesty and community. No matter how much or how often my interests shift, I’ll always have those values as my anchor point.