Skip to main content

On Your Table Blog

April 23, 2024

True wealth is measured in relationships

True wealth is measured in relationships

by Heather Lang

If you were to ask my parents what their first memories of me were, they might tell you about how they learned early on that I was one of those babies who didn’t enjoy being snuggled or held. I preferred to be left alone by myself. I was their firstborn, so you might relate to how hard that was for them to understand. This characteristic, unusual as it might have seemed, especially to my parents, who were eagerly anticipating the joys of cuddling their firstborn, set the stage for the strong-willed, self-reliant person I was.

This trait comes with a long list of negatives associated with it and tends to scare off many people. I admit that I am not for everyone, and I am okay with that; in fact, I prefer it that way. You see, for the better part of my life, I built up this imaginary wall that others had to "break down." And, if you were able to crack that wall, then and only then, maybe you deserved a place in my circle. These traits would also become the cornerstone of my character, guiding me through the challenges and triumphs of entrepreneurship. You know what they say, opposites attract. There is truth to that for my husband and I. When his personality goes high, mine tends to hide, and when mine skyrockets, he is calm as a cucumber and reels me in; we balance each other well.

Heather and husband, Lucas

As an entrepreneur, being a strong-willed, self-reliant, independent woman is not merely a personal preference but a critical component of many of my successes. My drive allows decision-making that prioritizes what is best for our family, and as a team, our family prioritizes what is best for the family farm, the environment, and our values.

Those decisions don’t always align with what is necessary for immediate financial survival or financial freedom, however, the hope is that it leads to long-term sustainability. The older we get the more we truly appreciate the beauty of our lifestyle - God’s artistic ability to know exactly what our family needs.

Family and who we are as people are number one, not our financial status. We work together, play together, struggle together, and weather storms together, but we always support and encourage each other. Sure, our life might look simple to many, or it may appear as though we are not well off. But I can tell you we are more rich than I could have ever imagined, not in the financial sense, but rich in things that money could never buy.

Our approach to life and business is simple: true wealth is not measured in financial terms but in the quality of our relationships and the integrity of our endeavors.

My longing for independence is crucial not only for my mental and emotional well-being but also for the overall health and productivity of the farm and family. My personal journey from a baby who shied away from cuddles to an independent woman leading a life intertwined with family, land, and community illustrates a beautiful arc of growth and understanding. I like to think that my independence, although it bewildered my parents, has transformed into a testament to the strength of my character and the depth of my family bonds.

For those strong-willed, independent people such as myself, let this be a reminder that the very traits that make us unique are often the ones that, in time, can draw us closer to those we love, fostering mutual respect that enriches our lives in immeasurable ways.

To follow our story and journey, I invite you to follow us on Instagram @ndpiggytales.

Heather Lang and pigletHeather is the former NDFB District 7 Promotion and Education Committee member and is also a former American Farm Bureau Federation P&E member. She currently serves as the president of Burleigh County Farm Bureau. Heather and her husband, Lucas, raise animals and crops on a 5th generation farm near Bismarck.