While I am writing this just before Thanksgiving Day, you are reading this just after Thanksgiving Day. This would be a good time to reflect on all the things for which we can be thankful.
I could start with the usual items such as the country we live in and the privileges we have, but since this is being read by people whose work is agricultural in nature, let’s go with our ag-related blessings.
This could be a long list. Where do I start?
First, I want to be thankful for another completed harvest. It was a good year.
While prices could be better, I am grateful for full bins because I can’t sell at any price what I don’t have.
Those full bins had their start last spring when my suppliers of fertilizer, seed, herbicide, machinery and parts, plus the help to keep everything moving all took the time required to get the ground prepared and planted.
Thanks especially to those two people that keep every farm in business – the lender with a line of credit and the diesel fuel dealer. No farm will last very long without either of them.
Thanks to the people who buy what we grow providing a daily market and a place to deliver our products.
Our farm doesn’t grow crops for a hobby. We empty the bins so we can fill them.
When harvest arrived, those same people put in the time required to get the crop out of the field by providing manpower and, of course, woman power, to provide parts, service, run the scales, unload wagons and trucks, and anything else needed.
Then there is the railroad that moves large quantities of our crops, both in the raw and processed forms, to their next destination.
From bin to the final user, each stop adds value to what we grow.
Because of all our efforts we are growing more bushels and pounds of everything.
That is really something. Words fail me when I think of this.
So, I am grateful to be part of a bigger picture, something called production agriculture.
Something that operates on a lot of planning, work, and more than a little faith.
How much faith? Well, I made my first sale of new crop 2017 soybeans today. Yes, I believe we will be around next fall to harvest what we plant next spring.
I don’t want to be dismissive of the other gifts in my life.
I am grateful for my family, friends and this way of life.
After last September’s sudden gall bladder surgery, I am grateful for our health system with its skillful people.
The problem with trying to remember my blessings is that I am afraid I will leave something out.
Which brings me to one more blessing.
I feel blessed to have a place in people’s lives for a few minutes each week as they read my column. I want to give thanks to my readers because without them I would just be talking to myself.
Thank you, readers.
Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.