Bear with me – I’m a slow starter. I used to love going. I kind of thought I had to. To find the things I loved – rocks, rivers, forests, caves. Anyway, since I’ve always appreciated and valued the outdoors, I naturally considered myself an environmentalist of sorts. Whatever that meant. And granted, it means different things to different people. You live in the place where you are. But here in Iowa, the most obvious intersection of people with their environment is in agriculture. Call me a numbskull, but it took me a while to figure this out. So almost out of nowhere, the notion of farming went from mundane and commonplace, to something very stirring and vital to me. And equally out of nowhere, I began to see a place for me here that I did not know existed. When people used to ask me what I was going to do with a degree in Creative Writing, I used to shrug and answer jokingly, “I think I’ll just get me some chickens.” Then at some point, I realized I wasn’t kidding anymore. I want to be involved with farming. I want to write about it, yes, but even more so, I want to do it. My heroes are the folks who are willing to tune out the call of the status quo if that means listening more intently to nature’s instructions for dealing with the land. After all, caring for Iowa means caring for the people and the land that produce our food. And by the way, the rocks and rivers are still exciting, and now that I’ve gotten to know Iowa and the Midwest more, I realize those places are all around me. So the area is doubly exciting. Iowa is my place and I don’t plan to ever leave it, at least not for very long. It’s taken me a while, but I’ve finally fallen in love with my home.
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