Springfield, MO

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Farm life good preparation for construction employees

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"I worked at Zenith for three years after high school, and just hated it,"said Debra Ferguson, Springfield subcontractor and president-elect of Springfield Contractors Association. "That's how I got to be a construction worker. I grew up living and working on a farm near Rogersville. The reason I'm in this today is because I love the outside.

"When I get a chance to talk to the Rogersville school kids, I tell them they are the best suited for the good jobs in construction. They are used to working hard, working outdoors and getting dirty."

Ferguson's company, D. Ferguson Construction Inc., keeps seven people on the payroll year-round, working 50 to 60 hours a week during the heat of summer and in good weather, pausing for only seven weeks last winter.

"We work most of the year, unless it's just brutal cold," she said. Ferguson continues to live on a 50-acre farm near Rogersville where she has two dogs, two kids, two horses and "a bunch of cows."

In her spare time, she stretches her outdoor life to weekends when she enjoys hunting and camping. D.E.

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