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Stories need to be told.  You heard me say a few days ago in this post.  I truly believe it, our stories need to be told.  When I speak to large groups part of my message is encouraging people to share their stories because if they don’t someday those stories will be gone. Well after many conversations (some with others and some in my own head) I have decided that I am going to take the opportunity to share stories for people that may not have the means or platform to do it.  I want to tell of their successes, tragedies, funny stories and how they truly lived farm, ranch, rural, and ag life. I want to tell the stories that I wish I had written down about my grandparents and their parents. 

Do you know a farmer, rancher, or person involved in agriculture that you think would love to give a gift of their story for all of us to enjoy?  I say gift because it truly is a gift to those that will be reading the stories. It will be a gift to the next generation and will be a gift to the people that lived the story. It will be a way for them to know their legacy to continue to live on. I want to talk to people of all ages, genders, and states!  I want to tell your story.

Will you allow me the pleasure of telling your story through pictures and words? It would be my pleasure.

Complete this form to recommend yourself or another farmer, rancher, or person in agriculture.

From the Gravel Road-


Please direct any questions you may have to Jen at

We could not let National Pig Day go by without writing about our favorite pig, Charlotte!

Charlotte has quite the story of arriving at our farm. My dad actually found her running down the road near their house. My girls instantly snatched her up and took her in as one of their own.

For the longest time Charlotte thought she was a dog, as she had free range of our yard and followed the dogs and kids around. She pretty much went wherever Ellie went. She even went on our nightly walks with us!

At the time our yard was dug up because we were prepping for a patio. People would drive in and look at us like we were crazy because we had a pig wandering around. Charlotte even got to meet people from all over the world when we took her to see Ragbrai on the corner near our home!

As she got bigger and our patio got finished we quickly began to realize that she was no longer going to be able to have free range of the farm. She was quite the "cultivator." 🙂 So... we made her a nice pen outside where she could play in the mud and get under shelter so she was out of the elements.

Fast forward to Charlotte getting a little older and we found "Walter" and Charlotte and Walter got married (according to Ellie.) When she had her first litter of piglets she was pretty grumpy (can you blame her) she had never been through labor and had no idea why she was hurting. It was a little hard for the girls to understand because typically you pat her back and she flops over and lays so you can scratch her belly. First time mom stuff-she didn't want anyone near her or her babies. I am pretty sure she probably would have put signs on her pen that asked everyone that entered to wash their hands to prevent spreading illness to her babies or if she were like me when I was a first time mom keep the kid covered up in the grocery store and pretend like shes sleeping so no one tries to touch the baby. Yep, she was pretty crazy with that first litter.

She was much calmer with her second litter of piglets and wasn't nearly as grumpy. You know like the second child thing; first one you are unsure of how things will go, you don't really want anyone in the room to see what's going on, by the second you are like sure those 7 student doctors can come in and check things out as long as they bring ice chips and smile. That was pretty much Charlotte on this second go round.

Now that her piglets have been weaned she is back living with her roommate, Walter. So... in about 4 months we should have piglets again. Actually, the gestation period for a pig is 3 months, 3 weeks, and 3 days. Now you can't say you have never learned anything from my blog. 😉 I am sure by this round of piglets, Charlotte will be ok with us being around and I am positive she won't have many pictures or even have a little piggy book for this third litter, and she would probably be glad for us to take all of them for a sleep over so she could get a full nights sleep, you know the third child thing.

Do you have any fun pig stories? Are you celebrating National Pig Day? Ever found an animal and took it in to give it a home?

Happy National Pig Day from the Gravel Road-


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