Work Hard and Be Nice to People

February 3, 2022

Teresa Sanders, new board member, shares a bit about what has brought her to this moment in her life.

“Work Hard and Be Nice to People.”  This short sentence and simple sentiment is the most valuable advice I have ever received.  This is a choice that ultimately becomes a way of life.

I have gravitated towards leadership roles throughout life and I have to rewind all the way to my childhood to understand the “how and why” of this path.

I grew up in a small farming and ranching town on the eastern plains of Colorado. My two brothers and I worked for my grandpa year-round on the farm and ranch.  Every fall, we put in 60 miles of electric fence around cornstalk fields, ran cows on the cornstalks all winter, and then took all the fence back out when the cows went home in the spring.  60 miles of fence requires using a sledge-hammer to manually pound 4000 fenceposts into the ground.  This could be classified as just one of many excellent examples of manual labor in the production ag industry!

Girls Can Do Anything Boys Can Do

There’s an important reason I share this piece of my history.  At 9 years old, my grandpa started treating me a little different than my brothers.  He seemed to be going easy on me since I was “a girl.”  He was being the ultimate gentleman but my 9-year-old self was not having this at all.  I sat him down and set the record straight.  I let him know that I could work as hard as my brothers and do everything that they could do….period.  He listened with a smile and bless his heart, he acted accordingly, and I am forever grateful to him for that.

At this young age it seemed simple to me, you either were a “doer” and you worked hard…. or you weren’t.  Those that were the “doers” were going to get further ahead and closer to their goals than those who sat back and watched.  To this day, I still believe this 100 percent.

Being Driven and Working Hard

I often think of this story and how it influenced my life.  I went on participate in as many activities in high school as I could, started a business when I was 17 years old, served as a Colorado State FFA Officer so I could travel the state and work with high school students, and held multiple jobs while I was in college at Colorado State University to put myself through school.  When a person is driven and works hard, they are always moving forward and regret will rarely knock on their door.

My favorite volunteer opportunities are those that involve youth AND agriculture!   4-H and FFA are two youth ag organizations that provide an unlimited amount of personal development, leadership opportunities, and FUN to youth.  I encourage all youth to check out these two programs the first chance they get.  One thing kids may not know is that you don’t have to have an agricultural background to join 4-H and FFA – they are truly two organizations where there is opportunity for everyone.  And is there fun?  Absolutely…positively…yes!  Having a great time should rank right near the top of everyone’s life priorities list.

I was touched by the history of how Snow-Redfern began.  It’s a story of the giving spirit of love and family combined with agriculture and hard work.  I was honored to join the Snow-Redfern board and I look forward to being a part of their positive influence on today’s youth and ultimately generations to come.

-Written by Teresa Sanders