Luella Shares Her Dad's Legacy

By Luella Fischer-Gregory

As a little girl, I remember counting tadpoles in a large mucky puddle, as my Dad planted soybeans in a field nearby. My brother and I stood on torn seats of an old Dodge farm truck, next to my Mom, as we moved equipment and worked to accomplish as much as possible to beat a rainy forecast and dark clouds. Little did I know how those small moments would build the foundation of my life.

Growing up with a farmer as a father, you knew to hush when the weather forecast came on, knew how to plan events around the seasons and knew dinner time may be well past 9 p.m. Who knew most families sat down to eat at 6?

I can still recall how proud I was in grade school when asked what my parents did. I was so proud of my father's occupation, because in my eyes, it was always and still remains an honorable profession. His callused hands, patience and faith provided a true road map for the years ahead, as I faced life's challenges and obstacles.  His common sense approach to life and work ethic is a rarity and both are characteristics that define all farm families.

"Farming is having an abundance of faith and appreciation for miracles," he would say, as he would take out his pocket knife and dig beneath the soil surface, to see if the seedlings were sprouting.

For all the miracles witnessed, we knew there are equal challenges. I can recall the significance of waking up to rain hitting the roof, even when I didn't fully understand the consequences of drought or loss, for my father always provided. 

He always taught us that the measure of success is not defined in monetary value, but in one's character and overall happiness in life. He encouraged us to treat others fairly and with respect, even when it may be difficult and to find our tribe, who encourages and uplifts us.

Soon, I realized my tribe was a tribe of those who also shared in a sincere love for agriculture. It became a passion of mine to tell the story of my father, a farmer and the story of thousands of farm families who work every day and make many sacrifices to provide the food and fiber we depend upon.

With fewer and fewer on the farm, and a growing population, we face many challenges ahead. Agriculture is under such scrutiny, that at times it can be overwhelming. We know firsthand with the passion, love and challenges that surround our lifestyle, it can be hard to take the personal attacks and ongoing loads of misinformation. 

I often reflect on childhood memories with ones of deep gratitude.  I enjoy traveling to  many new places, but it is down an old dirt road where I like to hang my hat. A place I can listen to the whippoorwills, see baby calves frolic in the sunshine and a set of tractor lights after sunset. In a world gone crazy, those involved in agriculture are right with my soul.

I feel as though my Dad set the bar high, for what I expected in a relationship and in a husband. After growing up with a male figure, whose hands were always callused and his boots always muddy, I am not sure I could have been content with anything else. I married a farmer, much like my Dad, in 2014. He, too, has a love for agriculture, livestock and the land. My Dad and my husband share a work ethic, a love of God's simple blessings and the kind of personal sacrifice I hold dear to my heart.

Luella2

Luella and her dad.

 

About Luella

Luella grew up on a row crop farm in east central Missouri where her family farmed corn, wheat, soybeans and had a few cows. She and her husband own a farm in Northeast Missouri where they raise cattle (cow/calf and stockers) as well as hay, milo, corn and soybeans.

Luella loves the little things in agriculture that make up her days. "I love how this experience gives us the ability to appreciate life's simple gifts (a newborn calf, a much needed rain) and helps others develop so many important characteristics and I see the positive impact agriculture can have on people." 

When Luella is not on the farm, she is leading a third grade agriculture education program, where she teaches students about planting a seed early on, in hopes that they learn to understand and gain an appreciation for agriculture. She loves to advocate to consumers to help them understand modern practices on family farms. 

She explains, "My love and passion for agriculture led me to my current career, where I enjoy educating others and writing about farm families and the everyday products they provide. I enjoy connecting ingredients and recipes to agriculture, while also inspiring others who live a similar lifestyle. I spend the majority of my time educating young people, hoping to plant a seed, so they can appreciate and understand how agriculture impacts their everyday life. I think it's important to not only share the facts, but to be relatable and share the characteristics and lifestyle of what we do, while telling the story of passion and love. At the end of the day, that is what it is all about.

I love this life and am thankful everyday I can be a part of the most important industry in the world. I have always said, it isn't an easy life, but it is such a good life."

Luella grew up on a farm in east central Missouri where agriculture left a lasting impression. She farms with her husband in Missouri, raising cattle and row crops. Luella enjoys tying food and recipes to agriculture and the farm families behind the ingredients. For more about her and her life on the farm, check out her blog.

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