I have written many times about the wonderful learning experience I had with 29 other agricultural friends back in 1992-93. We were selected for the 60 day leadership program called Ohio State LEAD. Two of my classmates came to visit Tuesday.
Brent Clinehens of Shelby County had called last week and we set up today's visit. He is 15 years younger than me and I was one of the oldest people in the class. They seemed very young back but we all gained greatly from our experience.
I heard him pull in and waited for him at the front door. I heard him talking to a lady and I wondered who she could be? Brent is a bachelor dairy farmer and I wondered if he brought a sister or a lady friend! There was Pam Matthews Hiser of Fayette County he picked up along his way here. We hadn't talked about that so it was a nice surprise!
We caught up on who we see from the class and of course everything has changed in 23 years. I see a few regularly but some I haven't seen since our last get together years ago. We didn't talk about agriculture much at all. We talked about family and what has happened since we were in LEAD. Like me, all of their lives have changed greatly.
I probably sounded like an advisor since I've done the things they are going through now. Pam has 3 boys in college so we talked a lot about that since LuAnn and I had all six children in college at the same time.
I lamented the ending of the program and why and how it happened and how Extension dropped the ball in our state through the tough budget times and personnel changes that occurred everywhere. Still, that program changed all our lives for the good and it was the best experience I've had in my lifetime and I have been blessed with many great experiences.
I gave them the history of this 1880 house and farm as it has been passed down to me. People are always interested because it is quite a story and something we never dreamed would have happened to us. We are one of the few owners of this farm since it was first established.
LEAD has led me to New Zealand, Australia and all over the globe. I am thankful I've met great people all over the world. I am grateful they come to see me.