By Julie Tomascik

Drive to the outskirts of town. Leave the blacktop behind and take a winding road. That rural route through the countryside has a story to tell.

One of love. Hard work and dedication. Long hours. Family and faith.

With twists and turns, a few bumps and a detour or two, you’re sure to discover the passion of farmers and ranchers.

And Texas is full of personality. The back roads show it. So get out and explore, and see the beauty that is rural Texas.

First light is the best light. It brings a fresh perspective. A revived spirit. The glory of another day.

Old houses stand hidden behind trees. Some in a field of sunlight. But each with faded memories. Of hopes and dreams. Sorrow. Life lessons. Love. And so much more.

Faith, hope and love. Essential for every rural family. For farmers and ranchers to keep going. Old churches are their reminder.

Spring brings to life bright colors. And, of course, our beloved bluebonnets.

Sturdy and steadfast stand the remnants of rural structures that endured the good times. And bad.

Windmills and clouds. It’s a Texas scene.

Miles and miles of corn line the roads in the summer.

The sweet aroma of hay season lingers. Farmers and ranchers move from field to field trying to make hay while the sun shines.

As the sun sets, it brings to end another day of farming and ranching—a labor of love.

Explore Texas. Stop and breathe in the strong smell of earth. Feel the wind caress your skin. And try to imagine just how much farmers, ranchers and rural Texans love this life.

For more rural Texas photos, check out Texas Farm Bureau’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.