Editor’s Note: The right year to celebrate

Tom Button

As we get into spring, find some time for thinking and brainstorming how you can make 2021 a milestone year that your farm will long remember. It’s the right advice.

Not every ag sector is having a banner year. And even within the grain and oilseed sector, not every farm is feeling on top of the world. Some, indeed, are very far from feeling that way.

So, keep this in mind while I make the suggestions below. Agriculture is never all in the same boat. You know it. I know it.

Also this keep in mind, though. Agriculture should celebrate its future.

It goes without saying that it should respect its past too, and be thankful for its present. But somehow this is easier and it comes more naturally than celebrating the future.

It seems less, well, unwise as well. Agriculture excels at nothing quite so much as seeing the difficulties ahead.

But then, what other sector would you rather be in?

There will be struggles and challenges. But your parents worried about you too.

We hear it said sometimes that too many young wannabe farmers act as if the future should be theirs whether anyone else thinks they deserve it or not. We say they feel entitled. Personally, I think this is overstated, but even if there is some truth in it, it probably applies in roughly equal measure across all age groups.

Of course the future has to be deserved. And on the whole, though, agriculture does deserve what is on the horizon. How hard have you worked to secure it?

I know some readers will say they are nearing the end of their careers, so why should they celebrate a future they won’t be part of?

Country Guide, though, has run a series of stories in the past year — and we will run several more before we’re done — about farmers and farm families dedicating a portion of their financial success to a greater good, perhaps by donating to a hospital, helping a community either locally or overseas, or giving to a university program.

In other words, you can be part of the future if you choose to.

Nor are such projects only for the grey-haired. Let’s call it by its real name — corporate citizenship — and see it as an opportunity across the board.

There are myriad other ways to celebrate in 2021, of course. Yes, the COVID-19 pandemic has shut off some options, but I have trouble believing that if you can figure out all the challenges of getting a crop in the ground, you can’t tackle this problem too.

Every issue of Country Guide is a celebration of the future. I hope you’ll read Turning Topsy Right Side Up in our March 30 issue. It’s about as different a farm story as we have ever run, but make sure you read how they’re laying the groundwork for the future, and read what son Jacob says: “Farmers are in a great position to lead.”

Have a great 2021. Find a way to celebrate. The view ahead is great.

And let me know. Are we getting it right? I’m at [email protected].

About the author


Tom Button

Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.



Stories from our other publications