This content is sponsored by the Monsanto Fund’s America’s Farmers Community Outreach
programs, but views and thoughts are my own and written from my heart I am #MyTownProud.
The morning was damp, and I pulled on my worn red bathrobe. I opened my back door and almost lost my balance as my puppy jumped down the stairs and rushed into the backyard. I pulled my arms across my chest and took a deep breath. The country air breathes life into me.
I heard a strange noise. I didn’t recognize it at first. Then I went through the database of everything it could be, and I realized it was a cow welcoming the sun. I couldn’t believe I live in a place that is so quiet that I could hear a cow that lives miles away. I live in a gated neighborhood. The gate is more to protect the lake than it is to safeguard the people from one another.
The town I live in features rolling hills, curvy roads, lush green landscapes, a beautiful river where my county draws its name, and individuals who warm your soul.
It wasn’t that we just happened upon this space. We decided to raise our family in a place we could make a home. We wanted all that you see in the movies. We wanted a nice house, pretty landscape, safety, harmony, and people our children would be proud to know. We wanted a rural community because of the farmer’s market, small businesses, wide open spaces, the deer leaping through your yard and the wild turkeys that tease our dog. We wanted a rural community, and we found it in Fluvanna County, Virginia.
I have asked for many favors over the years and offered many in return. I have fed the community with support as it has supported me. I have come across many small town heroes who have impacted not only our rural community but the world at large. I would like to share just one of the people I have met so you can get a glimpse of the people that come from “here.”
Andrew Pullen is only thirty, and I say that with the smile of someone who is older but he has forged his way and left his mark already. He has only just begun, but the impact of his dedication and determination have been life changing for many. Andrew is the Volunteer Fire Chief for Kents Store Volunteer Fire Company. He has served there since he was 15. He currently works 72 hours a week as a Lieutenant with Spotsylvania Fire Rescue. His heart wouldn’t allow him to stop there. Andrew serves his community and beyond. He works closely with the Virginia loggers association, serves on the agriculture and forestal board and fought to protect the land use tax exemption that keeps our county rural. He is also active in State and Local politics through his role as Political Director for Congressman Tom Garrett.
You see Andrew is passionate about a lot of things, but it is the people in our area that drive him to press on and contribute while many would do one thing Andrew does many. He believes in our community. He believes in preserving the life we have here. He is currently involved in local politics as he embarks on his own campaign to serve on the school board. He wishes to create more programs in our school that focuses on getting young people involved in the community.
He will tell you that being a volunteer firefighter changed his life. His passion for helping others became his profession. He wants the same for others. He wants people to be able to develop their love into a career that enables our community. He believes that trades are imperative for community sustainability. Andrew is firmly planted in our rural community he is the product of several generations that made their living farming, repairing and restoring homes, and participating in trades.
Andrew is teaching his daughter the ways of the land. He wants her to understand where her food comes from. How to nurture and grow food to provide for herself and maybe one day a family of her own. He spends his time on the land as intended. He farms, hunts, and fishes. Andrew calls Fluvanna home because it is the place where anything is possible. He can’t imagine a better place to raise his daughter. It really is the place where everyone knows one another.
He is a staunch supporter of legislation that preserves the land that he loves. He makes sure that he is actively involved in keeping his community the way that it was when he grew up. He is very interested in history. He wants the history of our town to be preserved so the history of the past can provide lessons in the present and the future. He doesn’t want the light pollution and noise pollution found in cities. He wants the land to remain the way it was intended so our community can enjoy its beauty.
Andrew is only one example of the kind of person that lives in my town. There are so many faces in these parts that do what is right for the land and others. There are hands to help, and hands to hold, there are hands to grab on, and hand that reaches out, there are hands that teach, and hands that receive, and hands that put in an honest day work in the community we love and hands that will encompass you in a hug. That is why Fluvanna is the county I love.
The Monsanto Fund celebrates rural communities and invests to make them even more vibrant for future generations through the America’s Farmers Community Outreach. A new campaign sponsored by the programs called My Town will continue this celebration of the people, places and stories that make small towns great through a series of video content that highlights the innovative and altruistic nature of rural communities.
Share what makes you #MyTownProud on social media for a chance to have your posts shared on AmericasFarmers.com or the America’s Farmers social channels. To see the My Town campaign in action, follow along on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Youtube.