Brandi Shearer grew up on a small farm in rural Oregon. Consequently, she developed first-rate skills in the related fields of shoveling horse manure and bucking hay. She has noticed that other people often find these proficiencies vaguely romantic, although she has yet to understand exactly why. As a youth, she attended a one-room schoolhouse whose total kindergarten-through-eighth grade student body was comprised of 14 children. Her first school sponsored field trip was to the home of a mobile farm butcher, who showed the students how to properly dispatch a cow in an open field.