What’s your name? What’s your story?

This weekend was Homecoming at my university and I had the opportunity of being one of five women to stand on the 2016 Homecoming court. The day was so special because I had the opportunity to represent ATU and the Department of Agriculture.

My highlight of the event was my grandpa agreed to be my escort. This was a pretty big deal because he hardly ever leaves the farm and a college sporting event is not really his scene.

Despite his reservations, however, he shaved, got a haircut and wore a suit and tie, just so he could walk me down the football field.

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There’s no denying he cleans up well for an ol’ dairy farmer. 🙂

While I could go on and on about why this was so special, a funny and seemingly insignificant moment from the day stood out to me. We were standing on the field, waiting for our turn to be introduced when another girl’s escort asked my grandpa what his name was.

Papaw’s response was:

“MeGee. Jimmie MeGee. I’m from Damascus. I’m a 30-year retired dairy farmer.”

To me, it was as powerful as, “Bond. James Bond.”

The man hadn’t asked my grandpa where he was from or what his profession was. He had only asked him his name.

The reason Papaw went on to add the other details was because those two things are part of his identity. To him, they make up who he is as a person even more so than his name.

So why was this moment so fascinating to me?

It’s because I’ve seen this moment in so many farmers and agriculturists. The ground they own, the animals they raise, the crops they grow – that is what makes them who they are. Those things are what they take the most pride in.

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There’s a saying that goes,

“Once in your life you need a doctor, a lawyer, a policeman and a preacher, but every day, three times a day, you need a farmer.”

When you can go to bed every night knowing you help feed and clothe the world, it’s pretty easy to take pride in your profession. It’s no wonder my grandpa takes the opportunity to proudly share his story.

As agriculturists, we should be more apt to help the public understand what makes our farmers special.

So I’ll leave you with this,

Triplett. Lindsey Triplett. I’m from Damascus, Arkansas. I grew up on a beef cattle farm and I work to tell the story of agriculture.

What’s your name and what’s your story?

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7 Reasons I’m Thankful I Grew Up On A Farm

I love college. I love having my own apartment with my own kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. I love my classes and professors. And I especially love seeing my friends every day.

As much as I love college though, I still enjoy coming home.
My favorite part of going home would have to be seeing my grandpa and spending time on the farm where I grew up.

Over Christmas break, I rode the four wheeler with Papaw as he fed his cattle and I was reminded how blessed I am to have grown up in such an amazing place. Here are a few of the reasons I’m glad I grew up on a farm.

 

1. Wide open spaces.

With acres and acres of cow pasture and hay meadows surrounding our place, I was never cooped up. My sister and I had plenty of room to run, yell and show out like kids. Inside, we had to behave our manners. But outside, we could act as wild as we wanted. 

 

2. I learned the value of hard work.

Coming from a family of mostly girls, my Papaw was blessed (stuck) with only granddaughters. However, this didn’t stop him from working us like boys. I was expected to do physical labor, but it made me appreciate the result of my efforts. 

 

3. I know where my food comes from.

As an ag major, I’m often baffled by how many people don’t know where their food comes from or don’t understand many of the misconceptions behind the food we eat every day. By growing up on a farm, it’s helped me understand what it takes to produce our food, that it’s safe and it’s given me a deep appreciation for farmers. 

 

4. Pets were never hard to come by.

Aside from cattle, I’ve also been the proud owner of numerous dogs, cats, chickens, rabbits, sheep, goats, turtles, guineas, turkeys, a few donkeys and once, even a pet mole (yes I know, they’re weird creatures).  

 

5. My imagination was put to the test.

From mud pies and climbing trees to playing veterinarian with my stuffed animals – there was always better things to do than sit inside and watch TV.

 

6. I had to learn to be responsible.

Growing up, I was always given my own set of responsibilities. When I was younger, it was helping my grandma cook, clean or feed the animals. As I got older, I was solely responsible for my show animals and bigger tasks like cooking full meals. I knew what my responsibilities were and that they wouldn’t get done if I wasn’t the one who did them.

 

7. I was shown unwavering faith.

Farming is hard. It’s full of the unexpected and surprises. Because of this, there are times when you’re not strong enough to face trials on your own. I was blessed with a family who turned their eyes to God when times got hard, rather than getting discouraged. They taught me that despite the uncertainty and challenging problems we face, that The Lord will help see you through it, even if it’s in ways you don’t expect.  

 

You either lived on a farm or wished you did. -Luke Bryan

Your Claim to Fame

My freshman year of college, I had the opportunity to serve as an Arkansas FFA state officer. During this time, I was able to travel all over the state, some parts of the country, talk to legislators, spend time with incredible FFA members, and have experiences of a lifetime. Before I retired from office, my fellow officers and I each presented a retiring address (RA) to FFA members at our state convention. My RA highlighted my Papaw and other individuals who make in impact in others’ lives, maybe without even realizing it. I’m by no means the best speech writer in the world, but I still believe in this message and figured I would share an excerpt from my  RA as a reminder than we are constantly influencing others. It also seemed like a great opportunity to talk about how much The Farmer (my Papaw) has influenced my life. So without further ado, here’s a piece from my retiring address titled, “Your Claim to Fame.”

For anyone who knows me, they know my biggest role model would have to be my grandfather. My Papaw has got to be the most hardworking, God fearing, stubborn, and loving man I know. No, you will never hear him played on the radio, or see him on TV. Honestly, outside of my small hometown of Damascus, not many people even know him. I spend every Sunday at his house after church and every time I see him he asks, “Well Lindsey, what’s your claim to fame today?” The first time he asked me this I was honestly confused. I’m not famous by any means, nor do I ever expect to be. Papaw could tell I wasn’t sure how to answer so he smiled and said, “Well my claim to fame is I married well, I have a loving family, and a great church home. You have your talents and you were blessed with being smart.” I thought about this for a long time. What had I done to make an impact or to leave my mark on the world around me? Have I done anything notable I could call my claim to fame? If the great things you’ve done in your life or how you have impacted others measures true frame, then my grandpa is one of the top people I can think of. He has truly built me into the person I am today and shaped many others as well through leading by example and being the honest, hardworking man he is. My Papaw may not be heard about across the world, but to me, he couldn’t be any more famous.

Since it was a seven minute long address, I’ll spare you the whole thing. This part meant the most to me though and really hit home. We all leave a mark on others’ lives; big or small, good or bad. We are the ones who decide what we do in our everyday lives to leave an impression. So in the words of my Papaw, “What will be your claim to fame?”

 

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The Farmer actually left the farm to come watch me give my retiring address at the 2014 Arkansas FFA State Convention

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Always one of my biggest supporters