Small Town America
‘Adventures from the Corn Belt’ took me across the mighty Mississippi for one of the last times this summer and I landed in central Illinois to ride along with some fellow interns in the first part of the week. As I was driving down state and county roads, I couldn’t help but smile as crop dusters flew over my head, American flags fluttered in front yards, cattle grazed in lush green pastures alongside the roads, and corn stood waving in the breeze. All I needed to make the full “American picture” complete was to walk into my hotel room and have a freshly baked apple pie waiting for me. I don’t think that was at the top of the hotel staff’s to-do list though.
I have driven and stayed in Illinois over the course of this summer, but I hadn’t gotten the chance to stop and see the scenery. However, I did this week. On Tuesday morning, I hopped in a truck with Dave Lucas (SAM) and Peyton Tester (Sales & Agronomy Intern) and we took off driving down the country roads around Springfield. We put up the final field signs and checked in with some STAR Partners, chatting about the anticipation of the new sales season. From there, I took off and spent my day on Wednesday in the El Paso area with Luke Crane, another Sales & Agronomy intern. Although our day yielded some unanticipated rain, we grabbed some final boxes at a Helena location in Streator and delivered them to AgReliant’s Elmwood Production plant, all while visiting with students who were part of the Sales Training Program.
I love small town America and being on the road this summer has only grown my love for the people who comprise the communities I visit. It may be because I’ve been a part of it my entire life and I have a slight bias towards it, but that doesn’t discredit the fact that it is hands-down one of the best places to live. Some people don’t appreciate having everyone know what’s going on in their lives, but I think it’s a unique advantage, especially when you’re in a bind. I love driving up and down the streets of my hometown and seeing familiar faces, socializing with neighbors at community events, or having friends drive in the driveway while working at our shop. No matter the time of year – whether we are knee deep in mud in the springtime or hustling to bring that last load of corn in during harvest, I know my neighbors are always willing to stop and chat about the latest town happenings or pitch in when you’re having a bad day. That’s pretty neat if you ask me.
Unfortunately, our time is coming to a close and ‘Adventures from the Corn Belt’ has only two weeks left. However, we are going to make the most of it! Kickstart your brainstorming skills and grab your computer charger because this next week, we are going to enjoy the scenery at home in Iowa while working on some graphic design projects. Stay tuned for more adventures!