Choosing the Outdoor Life

“Choosing the Outdoor Life,” New Era, Apr. 2009, 37

Choosing the Outdoor Life

The day we interviewed Talon Hobbs of Franklin, Idaho, it was easy to see why he loved his small family farm so much. The hill behind their fields glowed gold in the sun and was plastered against the dark green of the mountains. The sky was intense blue. The air was clean and crisp, with the drifting scents of fresh hay and distant animals. It was the kind of day that makes you want to stand still and enjoy where you are and what you are doing.

In fact, that is exactly the reason Talon gives for wanting to go into the family business. At 18, he has learned from his father how to do virtually every job on the farm. “My dad tells me what I need to get done, but I can choose what I do throughout the day. It’s really quiet. You’re not stressed. You get to have your quiet time. That’s what I really like about it.”

More Than Chores

But it’s not easy work. There’s no such thing as procrastination when chores need to be done and animals cared for. “I figure you might as well get the worst job done first, then you get to do the easier ones. There is always something to do.”

And what about when it’s winter, when it’s 20º below with the snow blowing? Talon shrugs because he doesn’t really see that as the worst thing. “You just have to deal with it.” He goes on to explain how his parents will give their hired hands the day off on holidays such as Christmas. “We used to groan and moan about it when we were little, but now it’s our family tradition to be on the farm on Christmas Day doing the chores together.”

College Is Still in the Picture

Ironically, the only way that Talon Hobbs will get to own part of the family farm and the outdoor life he craves is by getting more indoor learning. “I’ve always wanted to farm, even when I was little. I wanted to have some of my own animals, but Dad didn’t want me to get too tied down. He wanted to give us the opportunity to go to college. I plan to go into animal science. I’d like to take some plant science classes, and learn how to add to the farm and make it better. I’ll need to learn some small business management. I figure it’s better for me to take classes than struggle my whole life trying to figure it out.”

In the meantime Talon is getting ready for another kind of advanced education, his mission. Looking back, his mission preparation has been going on for years. He tells of meeting a girl just as they were starting high school and how he admired how she stood up for the gospel. He says, “I saw that she could be strong at that age, and her example made me realize that I also knew the Church is true. It made me think. Choosing to follow the Church may not always be the popular thing to do, but it’s always the best.”

Photograph by Janet Thomas