I am the oldest of four children who all work and live on the family farm. I have grown up tending animals since I can
remember. I love the smell of work - the animals, fresh air and the freshly cut hay.
Our family has a booth at the Durango Farmers Market, and this summer will be Napier Family Farms' sixth year. Eggs,chicken, goat and lamb are our main products.
During a vacation last year, I realized some people do not even know where their food comes from. They think meat
originates on cellophane. When I heard that, I laughed in amazement. I appreciate that I know where good food comes
from and that we are eating locally in our community.
Farming is hard work with many struggles, but knowing how to survive its hardships is equally important.
As a farmer's daughter, I have grown up with a big family, trucks and many country roads. Farming is not only about the
hard work, but also of all the journeys we take along the way. The hard work includes getting up before sunrise,loading animals in the stock trailer and taking goats and sheep to the processors; loading the truck for farmers
markets in the dark of morning; and getting the equipment ready to process chickens.
The winter cold makes our nightly chores difficult, but we still have to gather eggs, feed animals and top off the
water as we all get ready for school in the morning.
Family is what keeps the farm going and makes the memories and laughs that we will never forget. Our freezers always
are full of local, homegrown meats. The chicken meat is my favorite, and we always have fresh eggs and poultry.
I am a member of the Mountain Shadows 4-H Club. I was the president in 2009 and the vice president in 2008. Because of
4-H, I believe in giving back and helping the community. As a 15-year-old, 4-H has encouraged me to act on my words,and lets me explore my different talents and passions that interest me. The projects, events and fundraisers all give
back to the community in a positive way. 4-H is a very large part of my life. I believe it can take youths who are lost
and give them support and options to explore and become who they want to be.
As a student at Durango Big Picture High School, I am working as an intern with the Colorado State University Extension
Office. In our school, we focus on hands-on learning through internships in the community. Through my internship, I
learn in the real world, and, at the same time, give back to the community in which I live.
Living on the farm and growing up with agriculture has helped my internship tremendously. My school and internship have
made me a more-responsible person and have held me more accountable for my actions, both in school and out.
Elizabeth Napier is a freshman at the Durango Big Picture High School. She currently is interning with Darrin
Parmenter, director at the Extension Office in La Plata County.