Kelly Hagler, 25, is among the millions of young people who have left rural communities for the bright lights of the city, in this case Chicago.
But her family is never far from her thoughts. Hagler grew up on a 1,000 acre farm in Bethany in northwest Missouri.
“My dad is a character. He is straight out of a movie. He's this rugged dude with the cutoff plaid shirt, his belt buckle and his Wranglers and his cowboy boots, and his Winston Light hanging out of his mouth,” she said.
And her mom, a city administrator? Hagler says she helps bind them all together.
“Mom is a carpenter, and is sensitive and a cook,” Hagler said. “She is like the ultimate lady to me. “
Hagler left her family and the farm for an urban area that offers more opportunities. But the longer she is away from them, it seems, the more she questions where she belongs.
This is the fifth installment of the 2013 edition of My Farm Roots, Harvest Public Media’s series chronicling Americans’ connection to the land. You can read the entire story and listen to it on Harvest Public Media’s website.