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Pamela Loxley Drake is proud to be a 'farm kid.' You should be proud of your farming heritage, too.

PMG FILE PHOTO - A family carries pumpkins they'll purchase at Bella Organic Farms on Sauvie Island.I'm a farm girl, but then, your ancestors were farmers as well. So, you are farm kids, too.

"I am not!" you say? You are wrong.

From the very early times, people gathered food from the land around them. They found that certain beasts could be trained to work for them. Eventually, they raised small animals for food. Seeds were planted, livestock provided for and a dog followed around helping to herd, protecting land, stalking beasties.

Yes, we all came from those people. No one can deny it. Those are our roots.

COURTESY PHOTO - Pamela Loxley DrakeWhy did I write the book "Neff Road," which is finished and waiting to be published?

Over the many years of my life, I have seen farmers poorly portrayed. "Neff Road" came into being for one purpose only.

Farmers are incredibly resourceful and creative people. Their struggles would take the average person down, but they prevail. Their determination and persistence keep them going year after year. There is no one who loves the land more. It is indeed about the land.

Farming and ranching are not careers. They are indeed a way of life, a way of living. Every hour of the day is dedicated to land and family. The children grow up understanding responsibility and what it is to work — to work hard.

And rare are the complaints.

Who else has such a connection to the earth? Who else learns early the secrets of the land, the plants, the water, the weather?

From the day we kids are born, we are taught by the very family who surrounds us, by the community in which we live. We learn to work as part of a team and to cherish the black cloak of the earth.

Struggles. Our family and farm struggles should have taken my family down.

Illness. Oh, yes, we had it all, from a sister with rheumatic fever to a family with scarlet fever.

A herd of cattle had to be destroyed. With each shot of the gun, the dream of a dairy farm was put to death.

From years when the weather took the family into poverty only living on the food they raised and stored to the times when diseases hit the crops, we never wavered in our efforts or thought to give up.

When we could not afford an item that was needed or perhaps there was no such item, creativity was called for. Bits and pieces left over from projects were saved for "just in case."

The farmer was an inventor, a veterinarian, an agriculture specialist, a builder. He had to progress with the times to stop erosion and to keep the rich soil of his farm healthy for future crops.

Yes, we are all farm kids, even if never having been on a farm.

Long ago, when there was nothing more than land, rocks, wild plants, animals, and little else, our lives began — began from what would be a speck of dust in this technological world.

So, I write "Neff Road" for the sake of history and for the love of the earth. It is for those living in the country and those living in the cities. It is my story and yours. We all are the farmers of the future, protecting our environment and never giving up.

Farmers. Be proud.

Pamela Loxley Drake is a Beaverton resident and self-described lifelong "farm girl." You can contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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