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A conversation with my 17-year-old daughter last night included her telling me where her friends were going on spring break. It included Florida, Arizona, Texas, the Bahamas, and Jamaica (and not the one in Iowa).

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I have to say one of my all-time favorite songs is "Don't Stop Believin,'" which starts out "Just a small town girl..." That's exactly what I am. A small town, Iowa girl. What does it mean to be a small town, Iowa girl?

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When growing up on a cattle farm, one of the toughest life lessons we learn in the circle of life. When animals are involved there is a certain amount of things that are out of our control.

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Hearing and seeing photos of the first-hand accounts from friends and other ranchers in the fire areas of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado just breaks my heart. Being in Iowa, I feel so helpless to those who could really use some help, even if it were just a hug.

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At nearly every cattle show I attend with my kids, the judge offers a few extra words of wisdom prior to selecting the grand champion. Our recent trip to the National Western Stock Show in Denver was no different.

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As the year comes to an end and we celebrate Christmas with our families, it's a time to be thankful and a time to reflect. And at Christmas it is important to remember the reason for the season. 

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This morning as I was finishing cattle chores at the farm, I took a minute and looked around. It's December 2, and while there are very few leaves hanging on to the trees, the grass is still mostly green.

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Every day I am thankful for my freedoms. Each year, the elementary school my kids have attended holds a Veteran's Day program and each year it is my favorite music program. We are blessed with a wonderful teacher who loves her job and loves teaching the kids about music.

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When it's something your born into, you have it in your blood and you can't get it out. I started attending cattle shows at a very young age. I couldn't wait until I was old enough to show my own calf. 

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Being the fifth generation on our family farm is a true blessing. My dad has taught me a lot about life on the farm—everything from calving cows to grinding feed and cutting thistles to building fence. Like most girls, my dad is my hero. 

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A bountiful harvest is ahead. I love spring with all the new plants and animals, but fall is pretty great too. We get to see the bounty of our hard work with our animals and our crops. I don't have much to say today. Just look around and enjoy what is around you and know you are blessed.

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Growing up on a farm as a girl who was actively involved is something I'm very proud of. I am the 5th generation raised on our family farm and am raising the 6th generation on the farm.

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Spring planting is near. Iowa farmers are starting to work in the fields even though April hasn't come yet. Predictions are that more soybeans will be planted this year and fewer acres of corn will be planted. Look for an upcoming story about what farmers are planning for the planting year i…