We all have people in our past who have helped us through the tough times and often we don’t recognise the impact they had until we are much older and those wiser ones are long past from our lives – perhaps even have died. I didn’t know it at the time, but reflecting on the years i had with my grandpa – i realize now – he was my hero.
Sure, he wasn’t talkative or a hugger, but showed by example, a work ethic of getting up early (and making me get up early by pulling my toes to wake up), he would already have some chores done before i dragged my laziness out and ready to go do the chores that were away from the house. The importance of finishing a job which included putting things away and cleaning up. But, i LOVED going with him. He’d let me drive the truck while he threw out small round bales to the cows to feed in the winter, taught me how to drive the old Farmall 460 and clip pastures with a 9 foot sickle bar mower AND how to change out a broken section. And even when i drove (i think i was about 10) the pickup into a deep wash out along a ditch (he was on foot looking for a calf), he was more concerned whether or not i was hurt rather than upset about any damage to the pickup or that we had to walk a mile to get the aforesaid 460 to pull it out. Additionally, he taught me how to ride and have a love for horses. That was my passion for years.
Back from chores, every morning we stopped in at Tolly’s Garage on the western edge of Purdin, MO which had a population of 236 at the time – less now. He would reach in for a Coca-Cola and I’d select my favorite – Chocolate Soldier. Then i could just sit and act like i was one of the guys in the office area. I was part of a small and important community even at age 8.
Today, my grandpa would have been 100, but he died August 9, 2008 and i continue to miss him though he corrected me a lot about how to raise cattle. I’m still learning and still need correcting, but thankfully, i don’t make the mistakes he chided me about.
How many people get to farm or ranch the very land and legacy that his or her grandparent’s built? Not many, but i do own and directly manage at least a portion of their legacy and i could not be more honored to carry on a tradition of land and livestock management. I call this farm Tannachton Farm to reflect our Scottish roots and the commitment to regenerative and sustainable stewardship.
Heritage, Legacy, Tradition, Family – cling to what is good