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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.

LATEST

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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Despite all my pretenses to the opposite, I wasn’t a real “farm kid” growing up. My parents brought home the bacon, but it didn’t come from the farm. I never milked a cow, but my brother told me to not have a cow when he got my goat. As a kid, I didn’t feed chickens, but I was prone to counting my eggs before they hatched and rarely had my ducks in a row. And, if you asked my mom, my room was always a pigsty.

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We have a yearling heifer that always finds the hole in the fence. As a calf, she would snuggle next to the fence for a sunny nap and wake up on the other side. She would bellow and holler at her mama, who would in turn bellow and holler at us.

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I live on a dirt road that comes to a dead end at our house. It’s about a third of a mile off the highway. Directly to the west of where our road and the highway junction meet is a sugar beet dump operated by the regional sugar beet cooperative.

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He knocked on my door at 7:30 a.m. Muting the cartoon, I answered still in my pajamas with my newborn in my arms. My neighbor, Jeremy, eyeing me, said, “Your cows are out. Is your husband home?” No, my husband is not home and nowhere near cell service. I tried to not sound bitter.

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Farming is rarely a one-man job. Very few can get by without some sort of outside “help.” Even with thin margins, having a hired hand or two makes a huge difference – if not financially, it sure helps with your quality of life.

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