Johnson_-_We_Who_Are_Doing_Alright - 7 ERWINJ OHNSON We W...

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7 ERWIN JOHNSON We Who Are Doing All Right r AM A EARMER, son, husband, father of two daughters, community volunteer, friend, veterinarian, consultant, Iowan, accountant, Chris- tian, lobbyist, leader, borrower, renter, plumber, idealist, American, lover, shepherd, salesman, market analyst, Charlcs Citian, ISU fan' bank board member, farm manager, landowner, corporatc executive, agronomist, advocate of the free enterprise System, soil conservationist, grandson, extension service associate, world citizen, electrician, iamily rnan. businessman, co-op board member, Floyd countian, carpenter, boss, housekeeper, and steward of the land. I list these roles not to stroke rny ego but to let you know that a family farmer is much more than just a fellcw sitting on a tractor with a seedcorn hat on his head advocating t lre purchase of some pesticide as seen on TV or heard on radio commer- cials. The beliefs that I have are to a great extent the product of my past. I g,rew up in a rural community centered around a Methodist church near (.harles city. I am second-generation American with a long history of (ierman blood flowing through my veins. My grandfather and grand- rrrother were poor German farm people who had the desire to escape the bondage of poverty and saw the opportunity for a new start in life in the t hrited States. They came to the United States in the early 1900s with my lrrlher in tow and began our present farming operation in Floyd county. My neighbors are named Schmidt, Heitz, Fluhrer, Koehler, l,r.rrcssner, Forsyth, Hirsch, and Wulff: all of German ancestry. Many of rlrcrn live on Century Farms passed on from generation to generation. l hcy were my Sunday school teachers, 4-H leaders, and Methodist \irrrth liellowship chaperones. They might even have flushed me out of a lrrroritc,'parking spot" a time or two to keep me on the straight and
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ll / Farmers'Stories narrow path. We share joy, sorrow, laughter, prayer, marriage, and funerals together. My neighbors are part of who I am. As a child, 4-H, Future Farmers of America, music, hoeing thistles, skinny-dipping in our creek, playing football between the "mudpies" in the cow pasture, and learning a love for nature, God, and humankind were important in my development. I was loved and loved in return. After high school, I attended an excellent university, Iowa State, and graduated after living and working in South America for several months. I then joined the world community by serving in Southeast Asia for two years as an agricultural development volunteer. Employment with the U.S. government then beckoned me to continue my work in Laos working with the United States Agency for International Develop- ment. During this five-year period living in Venezuela, Laos, and Thailand, I shared my life with compesinos, peasants, and kung u bqwnok. I touched the lives of the poor and rich, refugees of the war and
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Johnson_-_We_Who_Are_Doing_Alright - 7 ERWINJ OHNSON We W...

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