Let’s face it, to say this was a tough year would be an understatement. From early snow and freezing temperatures to lighter yields and lackluster prices, this year has left little to write home about.
However, with most of us wondering if we even had a summer, let alone a fall, the cold temperatures of late were not the only thing that sent shivers through this old man. I was humbled by the outpouring of support for our farmers and was reminded why we’re all so lucky to live in areas where the faint smell of manure and dust in the late summer air goes hand-in-hand with tight-knit communities and a sense of togetherness that seems to be waning in this day and age.
To that end, we’d like to take a minute to forget about taxes, planning, marketing and the like and instead take an opportunity to point out a few items we can all be thankful for.
The ag community pulls together to help each other
Recently, there was a news story that came out of eastern Idaho that reminded me why I enjoy working with ag producers. Like farmers in the Midwest, potato growers in eastern Idaho fought wet conditions in the spring, and planting season came late. When freezing temperatures and snow came early, farmers scrambled to get through harvest.
A video surfaced (and subsequently went viral) of one farmer being helped by neighboring farmers, who brought their equipment to help save the potato crop — with one reportedly staying at it for 36 hours straight. Of course, we’re all thankful for the mashed potatoes on the Thanksgiving table, but we’re even more thankful for the farmers who grow them.
This is just one example close to home (for me). However, there are numerous stories of farmers helping farmers every year. All across this great country of producers and good people in the ag industry, we come together when the chips are down (sometimes at great personal cost) and stand tall to help each other out.
Ingenuity and perseverance
Farmers are among the most creative people I know (trust me, I’ve seen this for almost 20 years of practice). They come up with the most ingenious solutions to fix things when they break down.
Practically everyone I know has modified equipment and has come up with fantastic hacks to keep equipment running or improve performance or efficiency. In addition, they are persistent and persevere to get the job done.
Farmers work very hard and put in long hours
Whether you’re planting or harvesting crops, or it’s calving season, you’re working incredibly long hours and are on call 24/7. You work before sunrise and long after sunset to put food on America’s tables.
Farmers care about the environment and producing high quality food
We appreciate that farmers are good stewards of the land. You truly care about the land and the environment. Farmers who produce livestock work incredibly hard to take good care of their animals and keep them safe and healthy, while producing good food for us.
We appreciate all that you do to keep our food supply safe, and all that you do to protect the environment. As we enjoy our Thanksgiving meals, I hope that we all take time to be grateful for the farmers who made it possible!
We are grateful for the opportunity to serve you
Without hesitation, I know that I speak for everyone on the ag industry team when I say that we are thankful for you, and we are grateful for the opportunity to work with producers. It’s a privilege to work with so many wonderful people. We are here for you in the difficult times, and we appreciate being able to celebrate your successes with you.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families. We will be thanking you as we enjoy meals with our families, too!