I grew up in the country. My dad was both a small business owner and a farmer.

From him, I learned to love the land and the pleasures of simply being out in the fresh air and sunshine. I learned to love animals and treat them right.  I learned that hard work better be its own reward because nature doesn’t always cooperate with the goals of a farmer — a late summer hail storm can easily wipe out the crop that you plowed and planted and sweated over to get in the field.  And I learned that your reputation in business is a precious thing.  If you’re a business owner in a small community, your reputation is everything. When my father died at the age of 83, people that I’d never met before came up to me at his funeral and told me that he’d helped them when they needed a loan, a helping hand or some other act of kindness. That didn’t surprise me.  He had a solid code of ethics and lived by his own set of values.

In my own life, both personal and business, I enjoy being around people who are honest, ethical, hard working, trustworthy and have a purpose in life.  I enjoy working with people who help others and who make their communities better places to live. And when I look in the mirror, I want to see someone like that looking back at me.  For me, supporting people and organizations that are dedicated to contributing to the greater good is a simple choice.  As a farmer’s daughter, I know that we reap what we sow.

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