The Best of Both Worlds

Cute little runt piglet sleeping on top of a bigger piglet.

I later moved him to another momma with other runt piglets so it could get more milk

By Lauren Schwab

I remember growing up the farm felt like an island. A top a hill on a one-way country road, it’s own form of pig paradise yet not far away enough to be secluded from the rest of society. I learned to be one person with my country friends and another with my city friends.  As a short curly headed beauty I enjoy breaking the stereotype of a farmer that my dad confirms each day a grey headed fifty something male with a hat, pen in his shirt pocket, blue jeans and worn out work boots. Why can’t a farmer be a diva I say?! While my heels will not step foot in pig poop, my boots will not fear it. While my new manicured hands before a dance will remain in gloves while cleaning pigpens, I will be glad to do it. While my long lashes will remain behind glasses while baby powdering newborn piglets, I will forever do it because their little lives depend on my care.

I have had several internships sitting in an office cube and I often found myself day dreaming of the farm. Not to mention a free gym membership comes with my employment at the Schwab Family Farm! Nothing compares to the fresh farm air and kittens job shadowing me as they follow me from barn to barn to complete my daily tasks. Pig squealing, birds chirping, cats meowing, tractors revving, feed systems running and feeders banging by hungry mommas, are all the sounds I would miss sitting at a desk behind a computer screen just as I am missing now as I write this to you.

While I miss those sounds I choose to write this to share why it is I do what I do and why all farmers do what they do. Traveling to Japan I found myself thinking about how God chose me to be born to a Christian pig farmer and his wife in rural Ohio at this time in history. Its hard to imagine what life would have been life growing up in another state, country or of another religion and way of life at a different time. Farming is not just a job or business, it’s a way of life that can only be understood by those who do it. It’s difficult to just one day decide you want to farm. As a second-generation farmer I am grateful my dad chose this way of life. It has opened so many opportunities for me to write, speak, travel and experience the joys of animals.

The National Pork Board has invited me to Des Moines, Iowa in a couple weeks for their #RealPigFarming Social Forces Training. I am excited to learn more about telling my story and daily experiences as a farmer through social media and blogging. Thank you to all who read my words and appreciate a farmer’s dedication and hard work to care for the land and God’s creations.

Oinks and Meows,

Lauren

P.S. Here is a song I have been loving in the car this summer, Radio Waves by Eli Young Band!

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