Read as Team MSO's producer, Jason, recounts his life, experiences and motivation -
"It's all about adventure and making an impact; doing the things we love and taking it to the next level" - that's what drives me; how about you?
I've always been someone that loved creating, building and working to see the final product. My earliest memories consists of pushing John Deere tractors around on the living room floor and working the carpet as if I was preparing it to be seeded for the growing season; I can thank my grandfather for those memories. He and my parents empowered me to enjoy life and pursue my passions.
Growing up in the Alleghany Mountains, Virginia, we made regular trips out to Nebraska to see our extended family and enjoy farm living. As I grew older, sports and scouting began taking up most of my time; those trips out west were now few and far between.
Having earned my Eagle and graduating from high school, I was off to college. I claimed my new home as a Mountaineer in Morgantown, WV; that's where I established a network of friends that have proved to be my biggest supporters in life.
During the summers, I'd pack up and head back out to the farm; I truly loved my extended family and I wanted to give back. I had to do something in exchange for everything my grandfather had given me.
I continued this cycle until I landed my first job after college; however, I'd still find my self taking a week's vacation to travel back to the farm.
After working in the office environment for just 2.5 years, I packed up, quit, sold my house and moved my life out west; I was gonna be a farmer! I had it all worked out and my pup, Barley Hop, and I were on a new adventure.
As farming season came to a close, I moved to Idaho groomed the Teton Mountains for a winter; some truly amazing experiences including meeting my wife. From Idaho, I was now heading back to the South; Atlanta in fact, were my wife had grown up - we were ready to give this a shot!
And now, we're back in Virginia only 1.5 hrs from where I grew up pushing those tractors around on the living room floor.
We built our first home together just recently and we opted for something that no one in southwest Virginia had ever done; we were gonna build the most energy efficient home in the region. We were already recycling, conserving and practicing limited sustainability practices but we wanted to "live" the part. After exploring our options, we found our architect/builder and the rest is history; we've got southwest Virginia's first Passivhaus - more at passivepreservation.blogspot.com.
I'm living the dream; nested on top of a mountain with breathtaking views, but that's not enough; I'm an explorer, I've got a passion and I've got to do something about it. Just like packing up and leaving my first job to be a farmer, I've got to make a shot at Mountain State Overland (MSO).
Sitting around a camp fire, brainstorming, share concepts and putting the pieces together is where it all began - now its time to take it to the next level!