You don't unlearn the lessons of growing up in rural Colorado.
My great grandparents, first generation US born to German immigrants, homesteaded at the base of the flat tops near Dunckley Park in Routt County. They were sheep ranchers. There are 2 agriculture reservoirs and a gulch in the area that carries the family name, “Yoast.“ (https://mapcarta.com/23512972). I grew up gathering eggs for great grandma, feeding in early winter mornings from the horse team drawn sled, hosting the sheep shearing teams in the spring to prepare for lambing, helping grandma with the garden, waiting for grandpa to finish irrigating all while running for miles every day with cousins from my mom’s 6 siblings that came to visit.
My grandparents worked the ranch, as the family settlers aged, until they retired to Moffat County about 4 miles out Knez divide. (Just-so-happens, it was across the hill from where I grew up on CR35, very near the Talkington homestead outside Hamilton). It was there I learned to operate the self-propelled swather, butcher chickens and sheep for the freezer, can produce for the pantry, sew my own clothes, and wait for the school bus in sub-zero temps. (Oh by the way, I broke the axel on the first tractor I drove, so dad left mom in charge of tractors). My dad worked a M-F at Yampa Valley Electrical Association, used his vacation for haying season, and was a self-taught taxidermist on the side. My mom was a stay at home mom in charge of lambing, managing the budget, capital investments, all the domestic chores, and her favorite place is still in the seat of her John Deere.
My husband and I bought into the property partnership, but we only raise hay and lease out pasture at this point in our lives. We continue to take care of not only the ag property but the family residence where my mom and sister still reside.
I chose to build a professional corporate career, including a corporate officer in a publicly traded company, and on to business ownership where we help 600-900 job seekers annually. However, you don’t unlearn the lessons of growing up in rural Colorado. Those lessons create the fabric of which we make a life. To this day, I can help bring a smile to my staff weekly with a “ruralism” about something that happens in the office. I think my favorite one, that has become my mantra, is: “let’s do the right thing for the right reason and the right things will happen.” And I get up every morning believing the best way out of any situation is a little (and sometimes a little more) hard work.
I hope to see you on the campaign “trail” where we might share a couple stories or a “ruralism,” as I continue on the route to representing our great urban/rural district in Denver with more business sense and a tenacious , passionate, and persistent message.