By Jessica Domel

I spend a lot of time looking for inspiration. I scroll through Twitter. I look at Facebook. I read a lot of books. But over the years, I’ve found that my greatest source of inspiration and creativity is people.

I can capture a hundred great photos of wildflowers that people will like. But it takes a photo of a sweet little girl blowing on her first dandelion to get the reaction I’m looking for.

I walk through fields of corn, cotton and wheat. And I’m moved by Mother Nature’s good graces. But it isn’t until I meet the farmer, shake his rough hand and hear his story that I fall in love with the crops and the process.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s plenty of inspiration out there. I find it in the smallest things. But I find my most profound moments are experiences I’ve had with other people–especially farmers and ranchers. They have amazing stories to tell.

I’ll never forget Mr. Elmo Snelling of Plainview.

Elmo Snelling_TexasFarmBureau

Elmo Snelling

He is 100 years old and still farms. He told me, “As long as the good Lord gives me a measure of strength, I’ll keep on doing it.”


Then there are my friends John Paul and Heather Dineen.

John Paul and Heather Dineen

John Paul and Heather Dineen

They’re first generation farmers, which is hard enough. They lost a son in a tragic farm accident. But with the help of their faith, family and friends, they keep on. They’re always looking for new ways to reach out to consumers. They now take the wheat they grow, grind it into flour and make homemade breads from it. I volunteered as a taste-tester, and it was truly amazing.

There’s also Josh Eilers.

Josh Eilers

Josh Eilers

He’s a former Army Ranger and a Purple Heart recipient. When he came home to Texas, he invested in some cattle and started his own business. Watching him feed his cows and take care of their needs show his true passion for what he does.

We’ll share his story in an upcoming TFB video and news story. Be sure to watch for it.

These are just four of the people I’ve been lucky enough to meet as I travel. They inspire me every day. Farming isn’t easy. Some days life isn’t easy. But these guys and gals push forward and are living their dreams. It may sound corny, but have you experienced the people around you lately? They might just have an amazing story to tell.