This year may well go down as one of the most tumultuous years in Indiana agriculture history. The historic drought and heat episode had long tails, affecting livestock producers, farmers market growers, diesel fuel providers – the list goes on and on.
Nevertheless, when you sit down to a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, as many of you will, there are many things to be thankful for. Here are my top 10 things I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving. It's a personal list, so yours will be different.
Ten. Grass pastures came back with a vengeance this fall after it looked like they were bone-dry dead Aug. 1. I saved three months of feeding hay this fall when it looked bleak for a long time.
Nine. My daughter, Kayla, won the overall Indiana 4-H and FFA individual championship, and two teams I coached won their divisions. If you're into soil judging, that's a once-in-a-lifetime achievement. You enjoy it while you can.
Eight. Joe Park retired after 41 years as ag teacher at Indian Creek High School and became Indiana FFA Center director. His drive may be the best chance for turning the center into a positive cash position permanently since its inception in 1968.
Seven. The elections are over, and the campaign ads are gone! Not everything went the way I liked, but that's the beauty of a free United States of America
Six. Glenda Ritz defeated Tony Bennett for superintendent of education. Nothing personal against Mr. Bennett, but his actions helped drop teacher morale to its lowest level in decades, and threatened the survival of small schools and vocational education as we know it.
Five. Most farmers hit by the drought had crop insurance. Others benefitted from the higher grain prices. There are still those who took a hard hit, but many are thankful to get another chance.
Four. Cooler weather! I can't stand 90 degree or hotter days – can't breathe. I've had my share of them the past two seasons.
Three. My second grandchild, Addyson Virginia Grace, was born this year and is healthy.
Two. Thanks to lots of prayers and the help of family, we finally have a plan to help one of our daughters recover from serious illness. Thanks also to the great people at Mayo Clinic.
One. God is still in charge! We don't know his plan, but we know he is with us always.