I love this annual edition that highlights 10 Siouxland individuals under 40 and tells us their stories along with their contributions to our community. It is so inspiring to read how far they have come in their personal and professional lives and imagine the positive difference they will make in the next 40 years. 

This edition’s focus got me thinking about what was going on in my life back when I was 40. The year I turned 40 was the year I lost my dad; the year I was born was the year my dad had turned 40. He gained me in his life at the same age I lost him from mine. Somehow that fact is hard to grasp; and resonates with me.

Losing a parent at any age causes reflection and the need to recenter yourself, which was certainly true for me. My dad had always been a true advocate for Iowa and Siouxland. He was born the year his father obtained the farm I still live on today – now a Century Farm. Dad taught me the importance of taking care of what you are entrusted with, family, being a good steward of the land, and the community in which you live. Those values were instilled in me from an early age, but his death really drove them home to me.

Years ago, the opportunities to get involved revolved mostly around church and school, or the field in which you worked. My dad was involved in farming events and was a township trustee for decades. Now, the opportunities are practically endless. There are so many causes and agencies that need advocates and supporters that once an individual identifies their passion, it is not difficult to discover a way to get involved and make a positive impact in an area that speaks to your heart.

Today, I am impressed with the enthusiasm and dedication of the young professionals who call Siouxland home and strive every day to make our community better today than it was 40 years ago, or even than it was yesterday. Identify your passion, get involved, and help Siouxland become a place with which to be reckoned!

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