Today's Featured Farmer is Amanda of The Farmer's Daughter USA.
Welcome, Amanda, and thanks for joining us!
1. Tell us a little about yourself!I am a farmer's daughter from Southwest Michigan. Growing up, I lived on our family farm where we grew mostly fruits and vegetables for our own roadside stand, as well as corn and soybeans. After college, I went to law school at Michigan State University and am now a practicing attorney. I'm just starting out in my career, but I would love to one day practice in agriculture law. When I have free time, I blog at TheFarmersDaughterUSA.com and stay active on the farm.
Growing up, I mostly worked at the stand and helped with all aspects of growing the fruits and vegetables - from planting through harvest. When I was in college, I did learn how to plant soybeans and, after law school, dad finally taught me how to drive the combine.
3. What is your favorite part of your farming lifestyle?Unfortunately, now that I am working, most of my time is actually spent away from the farm. However, my favorite part of farming was always having all of the fresh fruits and vegetables available - with a seemingly endless supply- during the summer! Now that we no longer grow the fruits and vegetables, I definitely miss it!
4. What have you struggled with?We did not get high speed internet in our home until 2011. Until that time, we had dial-up. My brother and sister-in-law still have very limited options for their internet access. Oh, and sometimes the internet goes out without warning or reason.
Seriously, I realize these are so-called "first world problems," but they can also get really frustrating. Living in the country is awesome for so many reasons, but lacking access to things that most people in the United States consider pretty basic is also part of that reality.
5. What has been the most surprising thing about incorporating this into your life?I went to school to be a lawyer and never thought I would end up blogging and writing about agriculture. I had no idea that I would want to still be involved and still incorporate this into my life, so that's probably the most surprising thing for me.
I just cannot help but be passionate about it and care. I think being involved in agriculture sort of becomes part of who you are.
6. How has being involved in agriculture affected your faith?To me, agriculture has God's handwriting all over it! The cycle of life just never ceases to amaze me. After a long hard cold winter, spring emerges and life starts to pop up (seemingly) out of nowhere. To see all these amazing plants and crops growing, and the absolute beauty of all of it, I just can't help but think this wasn't all put here by accident.
7. What advice would you give a complete newbie (you know, like me)?Stop and smell the roses.
Once you start working and get caught up in making sure everything gets done, you tend to forget all the beauty that surrounds you on a daily basis. It wasn't until I started snapping photographs for my blog that I realized how pretty this lifestyle really is! It is definitely worth it to take a moment each and every day to appreciate that.
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Amanda is from Southwest Michigan where her family farms 2,000 acres of corn and soybeans. For 26 years, Amanda and her family ran and supplied a roadside market selling their own fresh fruits and vegetables. After graduating college, Amanda attended law school at Michigan State University College of Law and is now a practicing lawyer. She also "ag-vocates" at her blog TheFarmersDaughterUSA.com about issues facing modern agriculture.