In honor of Mother’s Day, I’m sharing a note penned for our young child…

Each night I’m home, I lay my hand on your sweet cheek and send up prayers of thanksgiving for you. It’s those little moments I miss most when I’m traveling, such as standing next to your bed and the resulting peace.

Beyond health and happiness, I hope your life will include:

  • A family who will show you unconditional love and expect you to become the best person you can be.
  • Friends at your side to celebrate with you in the best of times and hold your hand in the worst of times.
  • Faith to guide you and help you make the most life’s most abundant gifts.
  • A work ethic that will be an example for others. Know that the lessons you’ve learned in working on a farm can serve you for the rest of your life – don’t ever lose sight of your roots.
  • Pride in your country, with the same loud enthusiasm you displayed to honor a local soldier when you were three.
  • Global perspective. May you know the world is so much bigger than the U.S. – and appreciate other cultures like you did when you were five and fascinated with Egypt.  A part of that is understanding that basic needs such as food and water should always be more important than political agendas.
  • The ability to dream big – such as when you were six and dreamed of flying through the house.
  • Perseverance to know you can do anything. Your dad and I will never forget the day you were 18 months old and grabbed the halter of a show heifer, determined to start showing.
  • Creativity. You’ve taught me about beauty of crazy combinations I would have never risked as an adult and that inanimate objects can sing in harmony. Don’t let any system limit your creativity
  • Joy in all you do. Your laughter has been contagious since the day you were born.  Hold that gift close to you and  share your joy in life with others!
  • Resiliency. While getting ready to show a 500 pound heifer by yourself at the age of five, we saw you get up and brush yourself off after the heifer got the better of you more than once. I wish I could protect you, but the reality is that life is hard – you’ll always need to bounce back..
  • Passion. Given our family’s agricultural heritage, I hope you’ll find your path in the best business in the world. Regardless of whether it is in ag or something else – finding and focusing on your passion in life will bring you the greatest satisfaction.
  • Your drive to help others. Ever since you were two, you’ve been a “helper.” Your kind heart will leave a huge “heartprint” in this world – guard it closely and fill it only with positive thoughts.
  • Critical thinking. I worry about the society you’ll grow up in, the influences of sensationalism and our culture’s inability to discern right from wrong. Logic and the ability to know there are two sides of a coin is an important skill!
  • Appreciation of the rural countryside. May you always think five cars on a state highway is a “traffic jam” like you do today.
  • Memories to treasure. Whether it’s flying a kite, introducing your city friends to our calves, jumping on an airplane, working with 4-H and FFA members, picnics by the fireplace, or exploring in our fields – may you have a treasure chest of childhood memories to cherish.

As we celebrate Mother’s Day, I want you to know that you are an inspiration to me. Your dad and I are so thankful to have the gift of you in our lives.  I hope that you will someday understand the reason why I spend time away from you is to help others in agriculture. It’s about my life’s passion to help and protect our rural roots for your generation and your children’s generation.

Readers, what’s your legacy and how are you working to preserve it? Now’s the time!