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Working Another Type of Field

08. March 2017

Features, Theme Articles,

  —Kelli Trexler

I grew up in Tennessee on 200 acres of farmland that has been in my family for over 100 years. My father still farms this acreage as a hobby, raising cattle, pigs, and hay. My mother also grew up on a farm, learning how to be self-sufficient by canning and preserving what they grew. Needless to say, farming is in my blood, and I inherited the love for it.

Working outdoors around the farm was a big part of my childhood and left me with many happy memories. Physically it was tiring, and at times I probably complained about it, but the opportunities for conversation and bonding over a sense of accomplishment make this type of work special to me. It wasn’t until I moved to college that I realized how much the farm meant. One weekend I convinced a few girlfriends to come home with me to help work a friend’s tobacco crop. They laughed, but came for the adventure and the possibility of home-cooked food. If you have ever worked tobacco, you know it is not enjoyable work. We got through it and we have remained friends, but they still joke about how I lured them to do hard work because I thought it was fun.

I shared the above background to give you an idea of why my move to the Northeast was initially so difficult. So, how did I get from the green hills of Tennessee to sandy, rocky New England? One Sunday, when leaving our little PCA church, my mom handed me a Presbyterian newspaper. There was an advertisement on the back for RP Missions. She encouraged me to ...

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