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2014 – A Good Year

Well, we made it through another year. As always, some didn’t have it so good, while others had a great year.  None of us know what the Good Lord has in mind for us, but we’ll take what He gives us and make the best out of it. We always have.  

We’ve lived through “Meatless Mondays,” “global warming,” “animal welfare,” “gridlock in Washington, D.C.” and “War on the West” with public lands issues. And looking forward, 2014 promises to be more of the same.

Meatless Mondays came and went. Starting with a big splash and a lot of “good feelings” type of politics with the school boards, our nation’s First Lady soon got mixed up in the school lunch program. By the end of the year, the movement had fizzled, with a whole bunch of hungry students in our schools and teachers asking, “Where’s the beef?” At the same time, pop machines have been taken out of school halls and junk food had been cleaned out of the food line, so there was some good about it.

Global warming will always be around as a cause, but climate change has always been real and around since God formed the world, so get used to it.

Animal welfare will continue to pop up, but now we are all aware of it and are dealing with it. We just have to tell our story better. While that isn’t something we are very good at yet, we’re getting better.  Keep trying. Every family needs a spokesperson to tell the good they are doing with their animals and the land.

Public land issues are still a challenge, and while we hope we are holding our own, we often feel out-gunned on the issues.  We hope to get a Grazing Improvement Act through Congress this year, or a grazing bill that we can live with.  Congress is like a truck full of money that is broke down and out of gas.  

One report said the biggest variable between now and 2016 is next November’s elections.  

“I see no reason for anything to change,” said Charlie Cook, the editor of the Cook Political Report, which currently projects a modest increase in seats for Republicans next fall. 

The Republicans will have to score a net six seats to take control of the U.S. Senate, and the Democrats need a net gain of 17 seats to gain control of the U.S. House.  I feel the leadership in both the House and Senate, and even the White House, dislike each other to a degree that not much will happen.  It is not so much of who is right or wrong, but who hates who.  Heck of a way to run a country, isn’t it?  A wise person said, “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between political parties either – but right through every human heart.”

We’ll get by this coming year, although there will be some new challenges, as there always have been.  People in ag always rise early to meet the sunrise.

There is a close correlation between getting up in the morning and getting up in the world.  Remember an optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in; a pessimists stays up to make sure the old year leaves; and most ag people go to bed early to get a good start on the New Year. Have a great year.