Sweetheart, You Come From a Long Line Of Nerds…

My daughter came home some time ago complaining that she just did not “fit in” at school.  The comment brought back many memories of solitary evenings at home in junior high and high school.  It wasn’t that I did not have friends—most everyone liked me, but I struggled to fit in with my peers.  I, quite honestly, do not think that they knew what to do with me.

When I was not in school, I was in the pool…

I was a very serious kid.  Serious about school, and down-right obsessed (my mom’s term) with competitive athletics.  I honestly do not recall when it started, but I have always felt the intrinsic need to challenge myself to achieve excellence.  It started in the swimming pool, but grew to include my studies and eventually my work on our cattle farm.

Brains and brawn made a good mix for me…Scholar Athlete of the Year in 1993.

I believe, with every fiber of my being, that no matter how good I am at something—I can ALWAYS be better.  I focus on the little things while also trying not to lose sight of the big picture.  In many ways, I am a nerd…  I am a student of life…I am a tenaciously driven person…

From a fraternity party to the alter to a farm in Nebraska…What an amazing journey!

I feel truly blessed that my journey in life allowed for finding my Nebraska farm boy.  What are the odds of a girl from West Palm Beach Florida meeting a farm boy from Nebraska at an Ivy League school in New Hampshire?  I am still baffled at how our paths crossed and also so thankful that God sent him my way.  The interesting twist is that we met at a fraternity party over Halloween weekend when my farm boy was wearing devils horns glued to his head…Although I did not arrive at the party in time to watch his rendition of “Devil Goes Down To Georgia” (Charlie Daniels Band), I am sure that it was a memorable occasion!

Sixteen years later we have a few more wrinkles, but the smiles are the same…

While I used to loose myself in the pool and in my studies, now I loose myself in my family and my farm.  Matt and I are kindred spirits and have found a way to blend our lives together into one fabulous journey with Mother Nature.  While I do some traveling around the country to explain to urban dwellers how I care for cattle and raise beef, it is on my farm that I feel most at home.  My perfect day is one spent with my girls teaching them the how to care for cattle.  My animals fascinate me and constantly challenge me to achieve excellence.  Being able to share that with my children is a true gift from God.

The love that I hold for my farm gets stronger with every year that passes—sharing it with my children brings me incredible joy.

Although it is hard to fathom how little Anne Gibson from Palm Beach County Florida managed to make a life on a farm in Dawson County Nebraska, I believe with all of my heart that it was always meant to be.  This nerd turned cattle feed yard boss lady took the road less traveled and, it has, made all of the difference…


Filed under Family, General

12 responses to “Sweetheart, You Come From a Long Line Of Nerds…

  1. Nerd? If that is your cover… well… OK. But the reality is that you are an exceptionally driven hardcore competitor. In both academics and athletics you gave 110%. At your feedlot and with family, you still give 110%. (As near as I can tell, you get this drive honest from your Mom who always gave you 110%.) You missed out in the ‘normal’ pot smoking, beer drinking crowds of our area since you had a goal… and you were pursuing it. You had a purpose and a direction. That alone drives a wedge between you and almost… anyone.

    I know you are a talented and compassionate feedlot owner. Your operation is very healthy and professional. Excellence is the norm. I expect no less from you. But when you call the cattle ‘prey’ animals, the dominate competitor aspect of your persona in you shows, at least to me, just a little. I think it is hilarious. I enjoyed watching you race. I really enjoy reading about you running a feedlot.

    To verify my theory, does Matt avoid getting into competitions with you? I’m sure he sticks his head into the lion’s mouth everyone once and awhile, but does he generally avoid it at this point?

    • Bill, you make me smile and also remember all of those thousands of hours we spent at the pool together! You always could ignite my competitive nature…

      Interestingly enough, I think that “life” and “motherhood” have softened me considerably since the time that we were training partners. I still push myself 110% (it seems to be genetically wired into me), but it is purely an internal competition. Instead of racing others, I strive to make the most difference in the world that I do feel very blessed to be a part of. I have found that empowering others is even more rewarding than empowering myself. I am sure that you can empathize with this since you spend your days educating the next generation!

      Matt and I have really never been competitive with each other. He is good for me because of his more “laid back” nature. It is interesting to see both of us in our kids—

      Good to hear from you again 🙂

  2. Anne,
    I am a strong believer in Life Long Learning and have the same “I can ALWAYS be better” frame of mind you do.

    I was also a serious kid and still am. I was took my school work seriously and was considered obsessed with Showing Cattle. My family, especially Sister, will attest to this.

    I was so excited to go to college where I found people like me. “Ag Nerds” united people who had similar passions as me!

    • Robyn-

      I can identify with all of those things—except that I only found one “Ag Nerd” at Dartmouth 🙂 There do not seem to be very many of them at Liberal Arts schools on the coast!

      I hope to see you in the next couple of weeks when you come through Nebraska.


  3. Jeff

    Yep…I knew I liked you the first time I met you…for all the reasons and reflections mentioned above, and a few others. You have even taught me a thing or two…taking what you do seriously, but not taking yourself too seriously is a very admirable trait.

    Oh…the nerd thing…that was a requirement for admission…I am very happy happy happy to see that that “simple” reason to do something, rather than that list of reasons not to do it, has continued and gotten even stronger…

    • Good to hear from you Jeff—don’t give me too many complements, my head might get too big 🙂

      Give the boys a hug for me and tell Erin “hello”. We hope to catch up with you all this summer. Let us know if you plan to come back anytime.


  4. Being a nerd is a good thing! They tend to be the most stable people in life!

    • I have come to believe the same thing, Robin! The great thing about working with animals is that they do not label you…

      Your horses on your blog site are beautiful. Thanks for stopping by to read and comment.


  5. Paula

    I so enjoy your story! 🙂 Thanks for sharing it and writing this blog.

    • Paula,

      Thanks for your encouragement. I really appreciate it. I am glad that my posts “speak” to you. I hope that you will keep reading on this great blogging journey!


  6. we are reversed in our marriage, I grew up on dairy/beef farm in Ohio and my husband grew up in Orlando and a city boy. we now live south of Tampa in a rural area but not on a farm. My daughter grew up a city girl and married a farm boy. we seem to doing something right though, we will be married 48 years in July.

  7. Oh Ellie, that is wonderful! I’d say that 48 years is a lot of “something rights”…Thanks so much for sharing and congratulations—


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