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Erica Louder

Erica Louder is a farmer, mother, parts runner, veterinarian’s wife, lending professional and ag educator … not necessarily in that order, but then it depends on which day you ask. Her Outside Eden blogs help us look at everyday rural life and conversations with fresh perspective and a little humor.

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Blue Lakes Country Club is a classy place. With its Snake River Canyon location, no jeans and collared shirts dress code, and its “only golf with a member” rule, it caters to the upper echelons of Magic Valley society. Yet, despite all its pretentions to Long Island sophistication, it’s located in the bread basket of Idaho farming country.

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One of my favorite sports movies of all time is Field of Dreams. The iconic Kevin Costner stars as Ray Kinsella, a young Iowa farmer who plows up a cornfield and builds a baseball diamond. The words of his deceased father whispered to him have nearly become movie lore, “If you build it, he will come.”

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He stayed up past midnight to fertilize the pastures because according to the AccuWeather app, rain was supposed to start by 8 a.m. Perfect timing to dissolve the pellets. My iPhone weather app didn’t show any rain expected until the next evening. But he claims the AccuWeather app is always more accurate. 

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I didn’t marry a farmer, but I am married to one now. There is a difference, if ever so slight. When he chose to purchase that first cow, all I could do was shake my head and laugh. I knew he had some ambition to farm life, but I did not realize the depth of that ambition.

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If someone were to ask what kind of farm I live on, after maybe a moment’s hesitation, I would have to answer a mud farm. I live on a mud farm.

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What is the difference between a farmer and a rancher? The answer may seem obvious – the farmer raises crops, and the rancher raises cattle. But here in southern Idaho, the line separating the two is pretty blurry.

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