On the farm

How much are eggs worth? About $2 per dozen? Or maybe $3 a dozen for farm-fresh eggs sold by a cute young boy? In this case, the cute young boy happens to have cystic fibrosis and happened to be selling the eggs at auction to help out others with the disease. His eggs also happened to raise more than $1,000 a dozen.

In fact, over the last two years, 6-year-old Carsten Manring has raised just over $15,000 by selling five dozen eggs at benefit auctions. Board members at Eagle Mount told me recently that they consider young Manring to be one of their biggest donors in the last two years (indirectly, of course).

I spent part of Monday at the Manring’s farm south of Three Forks. They live near the Madison River off a rough dirt road at the end of an even rougher driveway.  They have a small two-story house, a few outbuildings, and an assortment of animals. It is the epitome of modern country living, and not the kind of “country living” that you read about in magazines.

The Manrings, from my impression, are practical, hard-working people who spend more time outside doing the daily work of the farm rather than recreating inside. They are normal folks coping with a serious disease that, at the hardest times, threatens their son’s life and, the rest of the time, makes life difficult and expensive.

That’s what makes their son’s charitable spirit news. Rather than keep the money for himself–to pay for his medication or to buy the four-wheeler he dreams of–he donates half of what he earns selling his eggs each day to nonprofits around the county, and he offers his eggs at auction where they fetch more than some oil paintings and vacation packages.

Maybe in the long run Manring’s contribution won’t make a huge different in the search for a cure for CF, but it will make a difference in his family that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

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