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  • Writer's pictureTodd R. Hepworth

In the Beginning... (by Todd Hepworth)

I grew up in Rigby, Idaho. The summer after sixth grade, I got a job feeding calves and mucking out stalls on our neighbor's dairy farm. As I got older, I started helping in the barn, milking cows. I moved pipe. I harvested alfalfa and potatoes. I drove truck. By the time I left for college, I had learned that during planting and harvest, you have to work so long that you stumble into the house after 10 p.m. and go straight to bed, barely remembering to take off your boots. I had learned how to take care of crops and animals, because they put food on the table. Most importantly, I had learned how vital our connection is to the land. I'm forever thankful that agriculture was part of my education. Here I am, 40 years later, working with Lori Openshaw to found a STEM school in a working orchard. I still remember those lessons I learned on a dairy farm. I still believe that agriculture should be an essential part of children's education.

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