It can be very beneficial to learn from somebody else’s struggles and experiences. I learned a lot from my interview with Dwane. Dwane Piere was born in Sioux City, Iowa on December 4, 1950. He grew up on a farm where he can remember “lots of chores.” From a young age, he was taught to work hard. Even when he was young, he wanted to be a farmer. Dwane attended the University of Nebraska, majoring in agricultural economics.
A question that faces all of us in our future is whether we will settle here in our communities or move away. When I asked Dwane why he remained here, he replied with, “When I graduated from college I got a job, and then my dad decided to slow down farming and offered me a partnership to go in with him.”
Dwane’s children Amy and Alissa are his biggest accomplishments. I can hear the pride in his voice, and I know from my own observations that he is very involved in their lives.
During his rare free time, Dwane enjoys riding corvettes early in the morning to watch the sunrise and relax. Another hobby of his is working. If he’s not working on the farm, he’s fixing things at the Green Lantern.
We all have special memories that stick with us as we grow. Some of Dwane’s are being on the Walthill Rodeo Committee throughout the years, growing with the other members. His most life-changing experiences occurred during his first few years of marriage with his wife Sheryl.
“We started farming, and things weren’t going very good. If Sheryl hadn’t been teaching school, we probably would have been someplace else,” he said. Those first few years of marriage changed Dwane. He learned how to be thrifty during his hard times.
Dwane doesn’t think he’s changed as a person during his years here. When I asked how he became the person he is today, he replied with, “I guess that’s just the way I am. I haven’t changed I don’t think, maybe I have. If I have changed I don’t realize it.” It’s hard to notice yourself changing, without taking the time to reflect. When asked how his community, Decatur, has changed over the years, he responded with “It’s gotten smaller, people are drifting off to the cities I think, for jobs.” This is a very interesting point Dwane made, as there really is a lack of jobs available in our small communities.
Dwane’s generation and mine differ greatly, in actions, morals, experiences, and opportunities. In his words the biggest difference between the two is, “Probably technology. We had handheld calculators in school, and typewriters with paper.”
One of the most important lessons Dwane’s learned during his lifetime is that “work is easy, decisions are very tough.” He told me to “try to make the right decisions, and that can be with hiring somebody or purchasing something. Really study it and try to make the right decision.” His final advice for us was to always be ready to change.