Our Rural Roots

More Than a Kid's Book

"Meet Pete" by Jennifer Campbell, Illustrated by Victoria Gibson (Progressive Farmer image provided by Jennifer Campbell)

Writing a children's book was something I long dreamed of doing. One day, I realized one was playing out right before my eyes in the form of my real farm girl, Emi Lou, and her love for a newborn calf, Pete.

The book that came from their relationship is called "Meet Pete." To be honest, Emi Lou and Pete wrote this story; I simply documented it. A good farm friend and talented artist, Victoria Gibson, helped bring the story to life through watercolors that are as warm and welcoming as the tale.

People say they want to know where their food comes from. We are one of the many families whose job it is to provide it. "Meet Pete" is our story.

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As farmers, we aren't asking for thanks or praise. It's our job, but it is also a job we take seriously. We care about the land, the animals and the future, which is one reason I wrote this book.

There's nothing new about Pete and Emi Lou's story. It happens every day on farms and ranches all around the world.

If you've ever read to a child, you've likely felt the connection sharing a book offers. I want "Meet Pete" to be read in suburban neighborhoods and downtown apartments and in farmhouses. It is a real story that is accurate and factual, but also feels good. I hope it brings cultures together.

Livestock farms are often portrayed with sheep, pigs, a dairy cow and an old gray mare all sharing a pasture on a sunny day and snuggling in a fresh mound of straw together every night.

My view in the book is real, a modern look at the love we have for what we do every day. It honors the farm and ranch kids who know why we raise livestock and put their heart and soul into caring for them.

It's more than a kid's book. It's my heart on my sleeve.

> Jennifer (Jent) Campbell's book "Meet Pete" can be purchased on Amazon. She writes a blog called Farm Wife Feeds (farmwifefeeds.com). Follow her on Twitter @plowwife and on the podcast @girlstalkag.

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