Friday, February 27, 2015

In Distinguished Company

My youngest brother is the cool uncle to my kids. When they were younger and we spent weekends on the farm, he was the one that took them to see the new lambs and let them ride on the tractor with him. He is the one the Boys reference when they describe a person who is brilliant and funny, and makes your mind work overtime to keep up in conversations.

He's also a farmer who is innovative and smart. He studies the latest research, and when no-till farming was shown to be the best way to take care of the land, he was an early adopter. He gave up the plow and planted directly into the decomposing remains of the previous year's crop, banking his livelihood on studies that have shown this practice reduces erosion and conserves water.

On Wednesday night, Husband and I attended a banquet where I clapped my hands numb when our geeky farmer was recognized for his land stewardship with a special award from a conservation group.

Tomorrow I am scheduled to go to another ceremony, this one at a state music educators' convention. Much Older Sister, of whom I have written often, will be recognized at this event. She has been named the Outstanding Music Educator by the national association of state high school activity groups. This is not a local award--this is the best high school music educator in the entire nation.

I am not surprised at either one of these recognitions. My brother has worked hard, and even though awards for farmers are not as common as those presented in other occupations (farmers don't tend to look for resume builders like others of us do), his conservation efforts were worth a moment in the spotlight. Much Older Sister has always been a passionate, innovative, energetic advocate for music and the arts in schools and I cannot imagine anyone more deserving of a nod and a plaque.

They are, of course, the products of my parents, who have loved the land and music and have reared their children to do the same.

I'm not surprised, but I could not be prouder.

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