We are on the verge of welcoming a new year in. I don’t know about you, but I will not be sad to see 2022 in the rearview mirror. Any way you cut it, this year was tough whether it was the economy or the weather. In many ways 2023 can only get better.
Our sense of optimism is one of the best qualities of agriculture. Each year is a blank slate, a new beginning with endless possibilities. It doesn’t matter how bad the last year might have been, this next one is our year.
It is because we are in the business of nurturing new life each year. If we plant crops, we put seed in the ground with the hope rains will come, the sun will shine and the new growth will break through the soil. We count on two things that we cannot control, rain and sunshine. Yet each year we place a small seed in the soil and hope it will sprout, grow and produce grain. If that does not take faith, hope and optimism, I don’t know what does.
If we raise livestock of any species, most of us are responsible for bringing new life into this world. Very little creates more wonder for me than to watch a newborn lamb or calf come into this world. I don’t care how many times I witness the miracle of life; it will never get old. The planning and preparation for that moment was months or even years in the making. All the work, all the waiting is worth it in those first few moments. A sense of optimism and hope abounds with all livestock producers this time of the year.
Hope and optimism are inherent to farming and ranching, it is the one thing we all have to have. We approach each year knowing we need to feed a hungry world and to do that we need to have help. There is so much of agriculture that we cannot control, and that makes faith in the future so important. We plan and work hard to do all we can, but in the end our livelihood comes down to what Mother Nature decides to do. To keep going each year requires a resolve few others understand.
That optimism for the future is what keeps each of us going through the bad years and disappointments. It is what makes us so special and why we are the backbone of society. No matter the situation, no matter how bad things might get, we move forward with eternal hope and the knowledge things will get better. I hope that this year will send rains at the right time and sunshine when we need it. I hope the crops are bin busters and your livestock are sleek and fat. Most of all I hope the upcoming year is a good one. May 2023 bring the best for you with hope that 2024 is even better.
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Insight by Glenn Brunkow, Pottawatomie County farmer and rancher via Kansas Farm Bureau