My wife and I both come from a long line of pioneers. Our families have been in Kansas since before Kansas received statehood and my family was on this continent well in advance of the revolutionary war. Occasionally we visit the pasture where the original dugout is that housed my wife’s ancestors when they first came to make their home south of Wilson, KS. My family still has the original land grant document signed by the President conveying some Clay County, KS land to my ancestors and some of my family still reside on and farm that very ground. My family has fought Indians, the French, the English, more Indians and even each other during the Civil war. I may think I have it rough when the power goes out for a few hours or the grocery store is closed when I get that chocolate craving, but try imagining what it would be like in our forefathers shoes where the dugout’s walls, floor and ceiling were all dirt and dinner consisted of what you could track down and bag for the day! That’s what I call having “True Grit”! This long pioneer heritage might explain my deep love for the rural areas of our state and my drive to be at the forefront when leading the charge to preserve and protect our Kansas way of life.