Barb | Eagle Grove, Iowa Annual Report 2017

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Hello I‘m Barb 

First name: Barb | Age: 60 | Marital status: Married, three children, three grandchildren | Profession: Retired nurse | Place of residence: Eagle Grove, Iowa | Hobbies: Quilting, fitness | Personality: Cheerful

Hello, I'm Barb and I'm from Eagle Grove, Iowa. I think that sentence says a lot about me, because Eagle Grove isn't just the place where I live: Eagle Grove is my home. Eagle Grove is my world. My ancestors came to the United States from Norway in 1881 and helped to found Eagle Grove. They built two farms. I was born on one of them and the other, just 100 steps away, is where I live today. You could say that I haven't gone particularly far in life, but that doesn't bother me at all. I like the quiet here, the nature, the cornfields; everyone here says the soil is more fertile here than anywhere else on Earth. I like the cold winters, the hot summers. I like the animals you see here: eagles, coyotes, pheasants, raccoons. I like the flat landscape. Nowhere else can you see so far; nowhere else is the sky so big – and so red, when the sun rises. We live a bit outside of Eagle Grove, but only 3500 people live in the town itself.

„I like the quiet here, the nature, the cornfields; everyone here says the soil is more fertile here than anywhere else on Earth.“

– Barb

Everyone knows everyone else here, greets each other by name, knows when someone has a severe illness or a child is born. I also met my husband Tim here. In the church choir. I sang soprano and Tim sang bass. He always stood directly behind me and prodded me in the calves with his feet. Our first date was at the roller skating rink. I was 15 at the time, he was 18. I married him when I was 21. I was 25 when Beth arrived, our first child. Today I'm 60 years old and it wouldn't be right to say that I love Tim as I did on the first day: I love him much more. He was the first man in my life. He's also the only one. He's my best friend, my soul mate. We still like to sing together, and Tim makes me laugh every day – it doesn't bother me at all that he always tells the same jokes. Beth is 34 years old now and is getting her doctorate at the University of Exeter in England. She is a lawyer – and also a great protector of the environment; maybe she gets her love for nature from me. Beth wants to work in environmental law one day. She often comes to visit. My two sons, Andrew, 30 and Ben, 26, still live here; Ben even lives at home with us. He helps me when I can't get in the internet again. Ben is an agricultural technician engineer. In his free time, he often helps Andrew out.

We used to only call him Andrew when he was really in trouble; usually, we just call him Drew. Drew actually works as an electrician but is also now taking over my brother Scott's farming business. So Drew is continuing my family's legacy. He also has a son and twin daughters. It's a mystery to me how he does it all. But I'm happy that I have my favorite people around me. A lot of smart people drive themselves crazy trying to answer the question of how to find happiness in life. Maybe it's not so complicated at all. I'm happy when I sit down for dinner with my family, whether I cooked or Ben picked up a few pizzas. There's a gas station right nearby. Don't ask me why, but they make the best pizza in all of Iowa there. But it really doesn't matter what we're eating: the important thing is that we're eating together. Home is not just a place, after all. Home is also a feeling.

Eagle Grove, Iowa 

Eagle Grove, Iowa 

Eagle Grove was established in the 1880's.
The settlers discovered many eagles' nests in the area. With a bit of luck, you can still observe these rare birds, because Iowa has preserved its peace and natural surroundings.

Wide country

Straight-as-an-arrow roads, flat land, the sky beyond: that is Iowa. The state extends between the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, with endless corn fields and undulating plains. There are just 21 people per square kilometer. By comparison, in Germany, there are 231.


More than a means of transportation

Because the land is sparsely settled and the distances are great, the automobile is very important in Iowa. It's not only a means of transportation, but also a guarantee of personal independence and freedom – values that count for a lot in Iowa. The state's motto is: "Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain."

Fertile soil

The many silos stand out particularly in Iowa's flat landscape. The state is the number one producer of corn and soybeans in the USA. Almost nowhere else in the world is the soil so fertile, say the residents. 20 percent of all employees in the state work in agriculture. Farm life dictates the daily routine with its own rhythms, as it always has.