At some point every boy or girl raised on a ranch realizes that life is different for them than it is for almost every other kid in the world. It may be when you go away to college or when you head off the big city for an event. There are several clues that will definitely help you to realize that you would be considered a ranch kid. This is not an exhaustive list, but see if you can relate to any of these.
10- If you’ve ever been electrocuted by a fence due to a dare, you might be a ranch kid.
9- If you have ever been allowed to miss school to move heifers or pull a calf, you might be a ranch kid.
8- If your heart sunk when at Christmas time the kids sang, “Santa Claus is coming to town” and you thought he might not make it out to your place, you might be a ranch kid.
7- If your definition of a “rough road” comes from driving the old ranch truck across corn rows at 40 miles per hour, you might be a ranch kid.
6- If your father had you operate a quarter million dollar piece of equipment because he couldn’t find anyone cheaper, you might be a ranch kid.
5- If when it rains your first thought is about how good it will be for the crops, you might be a ranch kid.
4- If your compensation has ever come in the form of a side of beef, a load of corn or any other form of currency not accepted at Walmart, you might be a ranch kid.
3- If you played sports in high school because you thought it would get you out of chores, you might be a ranch kid.
2- If you consider getting a “desk job” embarrassing to the family name, you might be a ranch kid.
1- If you learned how to drive 5 or more years before the state would legally issue you a license, you might be a ranch kid.
There are many life experiences that ranch kids have that “city folks” aren’t privileged to live through. It may take a few years for you to really appreciate your upbringing, but when someone complains about a long week that consisted of sitting down for 40 hours and typing on a computer, you can think back and thank your parents for raising you as a ranch kid and teaching you what hard work really is.
Dave Specht is the owner of Advising Generations LLC and author of “The Farm Whisperer: Secrets to Preserving Families and Perpetuating Farms.”