I searched Webster tonight for the definition of community. Here is what their website said for the first definition listed: 1. a unified body of individuals
I feel there were some extremely specific pieces missing when I read through all of the definitions that were listed. You see, this past weekend I was able to witness community on so many different levels.
I think Webster is missing a few key words.
Generous-When there is a family in need, going through difficult times, or just in need of a pick me up. Our community is generous on many levels. They open their pockets and give financial donations. They share their talents and organize benefits and auctions. They prepare baked goods to sell for profit with all proceeds going to the family in need. A prime example of this was at a benefit on Saturday for a local young man that was diagnosed with cancer.
Supportive-This weekend was my book signing for Tawanda's Tales: Best Friends Forever. I was overjoyed with the support that our local community showed me! Some people that already had the book just stopped to visit, others stopped to buy another book, and some brought friends to purchase a book!
Encouraging- My community not only exists locally, but I also have a network of community on social media. My friends on social media are so encouraging in my new endeavors and continue to cheer me on and share encouraging words via social media.
What does community mean to you? Any other words you would add to the definition?
Community. Community can mean a few things. It can be tied to location or tied to common interests. I'm lucky and get inspired by both realms of my community.
Latimer, Iowa I married into the Latimer, Iowa community over 11 years ago and even as a young woman dating a local before that, I found the community very welcoming. You don't find that warm hospitality everywhere you live or visit and it's been something I've appreciated and aspire to share with everyone I meet.
I love that even though we are a small community (town of 475), we have big ideas and don't let being small in size stop us from making our community to best place to live no matter your age, race or gender. Five years ago, as a young Mom, I saw a need for a library in town. I went to the city council and asked if I could put up a Little Free Library in downtown on city property. They unanimously said yes, despite never hearing of such a thing before I brought the idea to them. They believed in me and they believed in the goals of the Little Free Library, and I'm proud to say Latimer, Iowa was one of the first communities in North Iowa and really, even in Iowa, to put up a Little Free Library. The community has rallied around this project and continues to use it all year long and donates books to me to keep in stocked.
Another project that our community rallied around was building a Splash Pad in one of our town's parks. A Splash Pad is no small project, in fact ours cost over $92,000. But in about 9 months (from the fall of 2017 to the start of the summer of 2018), our community fundraised, built and opened the Splash Pad! How amazing is that! The Splash Pad allows our community members to cool off and have fun in somewhere that is local and free. My family became regular splashers this summer and we look forward to spending time at this local amenity again this summer.
Women in Agriculture
Another community that inspires me is the world of women in agriculture. Growing up on a farm where my Mom was incharge of the pig nursery (baby pig barn), drove tractor and was apart of daily operations, I always saw that this life was possible, but yet the world still didn't see her as a farmer.
After I graduated college, I started meeting other women in agriculture that inspired me to not let my gender slow me down in a male dominated field and change the minds and impressions of society. I met these women in person at conferences such as Iowa Farm Bureau's F.A.R.M. team, Commodity Classic and different commodity group meetings. As part of the ASA Dupont Young Leader program I was inspired to start my blog, Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids over seven years ago. Since starting my blog, the opportunities to meet even more women in agriculture from across the country and world, both in real life and online has increased. I have gotten involved with groups like CommonGround, a local Women's Grain Marketing Club and Outstanding Farmers of America. I am proud to be a farmer and want other women who are driving a tractor, taking care of livestock, marketing their crops and organizing their farm's financials to feel like they too are farmers.
What about your community inspires you? How are you inspiring your community?