By Rashel Clark- Utah State University Dietetics Student
I am currently attending Utah State University and will graduate in May ready to begin my career as a Registered Dietitian. I began my life in agriculture, and I want to continue promoting nutrition and agriculture throughout my life. Growing up my family consisted of 2 parents, 5 brothers and sisters, 200-300 head of milking Holsteins, 4 dogs, 2 horses, and a handful of pigs and chickens. With fall in full swing it brings back holiday memories on the farm.
Thanksgiving. That one word immediately brings saliva to my mouth and pictures of a table full of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, roasted vegetables, and my personal favorite-sweet potatoes.
I remember sitting at the table when I was 10 years old waiting for each of my 40 aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, and grandma to finish the long lasting tradition of stating one thing we are thankful for before we are allowed to dig in. One of my relatives said something that didn’t make sense to my young brain, “I am grateful for growing up and learning to work hard on our family farm.” I was flabbergasted at this statement. At this point being a farm kid just meant a lot of hard work, parties missed, sleepless nights, early mornings, sweat, sunburns, and frozen limbs. I never understood how you could be grateful to grow up on a farm- until I became a little older and wiser.
So for those who call the sound of trains and freeway traffic home here is a taste of life farmer style. It will hopefully help you understand why those of us born into agriculture seem to always find our way back. For those of you who can relate, I hope this brings back good memories!
1. I know three ways to cut twine without a knife.
2. When all the other kids were building tree houses I built straw forts.
3. When I see the acronym PTO I think of a tractor and not paid time off.
4. I prayed for rain instead of sunshine.
5. When my friends said look at the pretty flowers on the hill (dyers woad), I went into a panic as suppressed childhood memories of picking that flower ca
me flooding back.
6. The first time I drove, I was too short to reach the pedals so I had to stand.
7. Talking about manure and breeding aren’t unusual dinner conversations.
8. There is no such thing as “junk,” just items to store in piles because they will be useful later.
9. I thought I was pretty cool when I could move a sprinkler pipe on my own.
10. Sleeping in is considered 6am.
These are just 10 reasons why I am grateful for the agriculture life. What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving?