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opinion

Lawrence with her husband Bryan and four children (Montana, Wyatt, Wade and Wynn) at the Minnesota State Fair. Marytina Lawrence / Special to Agweek

State Fair a special opportunity to spread joy of life

With Labor Day behind us, it is apparent that summer is on her way out and fall is ushering in. For our family, the end of summer is always tied to a great event surrounding cattle and family. Labor Day itself is the concluding day of the Minnesota State Fair and after hours of no sleep, time in the wash rack and the show ring for eight out of the 12 days, we pack up our goods and go home. We know that another year has come to an end; at the same time, a new year of school and transition is beginning all at the same intersection of life.

I officially have two kids in college, one senior in high school and another beginning middle school. Life is full. Full of emotions, changes and optimism. As a mother, I am contemplating all the changes that have been coming and occurring and am I am trying with all my might to maintain an healthy outlook as I know that for the first time in a long time, my role is definitively different. I can remember the time when the farmer husband and I used to imagine what this time would be like and that it appeared to be a long way away, yet here we are.

I am approaching this season with a bit of hesitation but hopeful to come through with grace. When your children grow up to the degree that your role shifts there are only a couple of ways to approach it. I want to choose well, and navigating through that is an adventure for sure. During the State Fair this year, I noticed the changes like never before and I was so proud to stand back and watch my young adults represent their industry and our life. We had more visitors this year than ever before. Normally, we have people look us up when visiting the State Fair and we always encourage them to come and see us.

This year, the exponential factor of inviting people for years reached an all time high. We never sat down. Friends, family, strangers of all walks of life came to visit and talk and watch as we worked through our normal routines at the fair. We had more people on show day than ever before and their level of interest was incredible to witness.

My point in all of this, is that when you love what you are doing with your life it can be contagious. Without intentionally realizing it, we have been spreading the joy of what we do with the cattle with our acquaintances for years because we truly love it. That love has provided us with a platform to visit with all walks of life about farming and agriculture. I am thankful everyday for the life we lead and the opportunities it has provided for my family. I am equally thankful for the opportunity to communicate that love for farming with others. It is the joy of our life.

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