Reputation leads to legacy, on the farm or in the pool
In farming, many of us think a great deal about the history of our profession and the potential for leaving a family legacy that can be passed down from generation to generation. It is one of those things that "matters most" to a farmer. The idea...
In farming, many of us think a great deal about the history of our profession and the potential for leaving a family legacy that can be passed down from generation to generation. It is one of those things that "matters most" to a farmer. The idea that a son or daughter would take on that which someone else has built with the goal of continuing to improve it, care for it and make it their own is something not seen much in the world of today. But in farming, one could say legacy is everything.
Over the past weekend I traveled to a town 3 ½ hours from home to watch my daughter swim in a college meet. While there I was visiting with her she mentioned something to me that she experienced that made me think about how a legacy is actually built. My daughter has been swimming year-round for about 10 years now. I have spent as much time in a pool as a supportive parent as I have in the cattle barn. Those two places have been my existence for a long time.
During this particular competition, she had marginal meet. She is in the middle of her season. Workouts are hard, her body is sore and sometimes that can be tough when you are trying to compete. We were discussing her strategies for the next month or so, and she shared something with me that really got me thinking.
While on the pool deck struggling that weekend, three different swimmers from other teams approached my daughter at different times to introduce themselves and ask if she was Montana Lawrence. With surprise she answered them all with a humble yes, and they proceeded to tell her how wonderful it was to finally meet her as they had heard so much about her. My daughter didn't know any of these young women. It struck her in those moments that despite her personal momentary struggle with competition, her reputation as a competitor and athlete preceded her. That who she is matters more than how she performs. Her influence was making a difference in the world. It was a great encouragement to her as an athlete that helped her see the big picture. And - it got me thinking.
In farming our reputation often comes into question. Our reputation will help to form a positive or negative legacy for our future. What we do and how we do it will always be the foundation for how we are perceived by the consumer. If we are to develop a legacy of history and an ethical moral reputation, we must start by recognizing that people are watching even when we don't see them, and what we do will come full circle.
I am humbled for my daughter and the legacy she has created for herself on the pool deck. I am hopeful that everyday as a farmer's wife I am working towards the same legacy for a profession I believe in and truly love to be a part of.