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MY HOBBY

Down on the Farm

When she’s not tending to teeth, multifaceted Minnesotan Dr. Jaime Preble tends to a patch of fertile, beautiful Gopher State land.

WOULD IT BE a stretch to say that Dr. Jaime Preble is a bit like Leonardo da Vinci? Well, maybe; few of us could easily withstand comparison to the Renaissance genius, after all. Yet like da Vinci, Dr. Preble is a master of many pursuits—specifically those that combine science, art and nature.

“Dentistry is considered the art of the sciences, and I love that,” she says. “I often think of my handpiece as a sculpting tool, and each tooth as a tiny sculpture. It sounds cheesy, but patients seem to appreciate that touch.”

A farm girl from outside Pierz, Minnesota, Dr. Preble knew she wanted to raise a family in a rural area—somewhere there’s “room to run,” she says. Two years as a dental assistant spurred her to go to dental school, and she graduated from the University of Minnesota’s program in 2013.

Thereafter, rural she went: She now owns Pine River Dental Arts in the tiny eponymous town (population under 1,000) some 150 miles north of Minneapolis. Downtime finds her on her 40-acre “hobby farm” nearby—the designation refers to a small operation intended for fun, one that isn’t a business venture. The land is worked each year by a neighbor, who grows crops to help feed his cows; the rest is covered in pine plantation and oak and birch trees. “I like to grow a small garden and pick wild raspberries and blackberries,” Dr. Preble says— endeavors in which she’s typically joined by her husband, Jason, and sons Easton, 5, and Emmot, 3. Camping, biking, four-wheeling, paddleboarding: If it amounts to being active in nature, the Prebles are probably doing it.

“There’s sometimes nothing better after a crazy week at work than the quiet you can find while walking on our trails through the pines.”

The farm isn’t Dr. Preble’s only extracurricular pursuit. She loves to put brush to canvas as well, something she’s been doing since her teenage years. Stylistically—earlier comparisons aside—she says she’s more Van Gogh than da Vinci. “I’d love to watch him paint,” she says of the erratic Dutch master. She laughs. “however, he was a little crazy—so maybe from afar.”

Overall, though, it’s the outdoors that speak to this proud Minnesotan the most profoundly. “I love the solitude I find on our land,” she says. “There’s sometimes nothing better after a crazy week at work than the quiet found walking on our trails through the pines.” Who needs the Mona Lisa, after all, when you’ve got acres of beautiful trees?