I recently read an article discussing how younger, college-educated people are drawn to life in a city. One source pondered, “Why wouldn’t a college grad be drawn by the allure of life in a big city?” He assumes there are few rural opportunities for young people and that nothing can change that.
When I left for college, I wasn’t sure I’d return to the rural community where I was raised. But I knew I would end up in rural America. After college graduation, I had no desire to strike out for a big city. I longed to return to rural life because I love fresh air, wide open spaces, uninterrupted horizons, natural amenities, and serenity. My own childhood growing up on a ranch had hard times but also provided me with amazing experiences. That’s the life I envision for my children.
The things I learned on the ranch: responsibility, accountability, and respect for life and nature are the things I hope to instill in my children. And I want them to enjoy the luxuries (safety, security, quality education) small towns and rural communities provide.
As my children grow, I hope they realize there are vast opportunities in rural America in agriculture, small business and other professions. When they embark on their journey after high school, I hope they get an education and discover new things. But I also hope I have demonstrated that they can buck the trend, come back to rural America and lead successful, fulfilling lives.
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