Fun fact about me: I do not like change. In fact, I think it is safe to say I hate change or rather fear change, which is why I was not surprised when I was scared on my first day at Black Hawk East College and nervous when I started working at Grateful Graze for the first time, but if there is anything I have learned during these last two years here in Henry County, it is that change is good. Change allowed me to connect with good people, change helped me receive the best education, change gave me the opportunity to have the greatest job, and finally, change challenged me to grow as an individual.
As I prepare to MOOve on to Colorado State University with big dreams and a little fear, I cannot help but realize how perfect it was that I was a part of the Fear the Same Summit at my last week of work. The Summit was hosted by Ag Solutions Network, a crop nutrition and soil health company associated with Grateful Graze. The summit goal: seeking to help farmers, researchers and entrepreneurs embrace thinking and acting upon what they could change on their own operations.
It is human to fear being different, trying new things, and change in general, but in reality, we should fear being the same. One does not achieve success and, more importantly, grow as an individual by doing what everyone else is doing and being the same as everyone else. The only way to become better is to push ourselves further than we have ever gone before and setting our standards higher than ever before.
I have said it once and I will say it again: Grateful Graze is like nothing I have ever experienced before. Our leadership does not fear change. They are willing to be different, even in the heart of Illinois, where conventional practices have been used on fifth generation family farms for years. They are willing to try new practices if it means their products are better for the environment and your health. Conventional farming has caused many problems over the years as have many things man has made or done. But Grateful Graze and regenerative agriculture are implementing soil, livestock and human health solutions.
My last words I want to share with you are that of gratitude. I appreciate each and every one one of you for welcoming me into your lives, whether you complimented me about my blog in an email or asked me questions about my life at the farmer’s market. These interactions meant a lot to me at the time but mean even more to me now as I reflect on my time here at Grateful Graze.
Additionally, I would be amiss if I forgot to thank the members of the Grateful Graze team for their helpful advice and supportive attitudes. You all have been there for me no matter what and I feel that between the summer interns, fellow employees, and everyone else who has come and gone, we have shared a bond doing something genuinely good and ultimately made a difference in the world. To Monte and Robyn, thank you for everything. I will forever be grateful for you mistaking my fake resume for a class project as being real and then contacting me to work for you. You have been patient with me, you have helped me, and you have taught me to not fear change but rather fear being the same.