Mankato Free Press has covered a pen pal program that residents at Pathstone Living have joined, where they can write letters back and forth to fourth grade students at the nearby Bridges Community School.

When 9-year-old Rohan Sharma read about the farm on which 95-year-old Marvel Wieman’s once lived, he was stumped by one detail.

The fourth grader had to write back to his pen pal to ask: What is a heifer?

In her next letter, the resident of Ecumen Pathstone near Sibley Park informed her new friend from Bridges Community School in North Mankato that a heifer is a young female cow.

Rohan wrote back that he too comes from a farming family, but the farm on which his grandfather worked was quite different than the one Wieman described. Sharma’s grandfather worked on a sugarcane farm in India.

The intergenerational farming discussion was a product of the Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota’s Reasons to Write program.

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