Happy New Year. I hope 2021 brings you many blessings.
I know that 2020 was a rough year for many, but I have become a bit weary of the complaints about last year. I have to shut my social media down occasionally when I see too many memes comparing 2020 to the apocalypse or how drinking wine will solve it.
I have seen the devastation wreaked by the hurricanes and the toll COVID-19 have taken on our people and businesses, but I see it as an opportunity for resolve and imagination as opposed to despair.
Let me explain. In 2020 I saw so many examples of individuals – especially farmers – taking control of their situation and devising new plans for their future. I was encouraged to know that we weren’t going to hell in a hand basket. People are resilient, with great imagination.
I have been extremely angry at how the pandemic has affected those that relied on the first jobs to disappear when shutdowns began. I know several people in the restaurant industry. To survive they had to change their model. Farmers change their model on a regular basis.
The ag industry was spared the kind of havoc wreaked in the service industry partly because our ag leaders jumped in and hounded everyone they could to make sure that we were not overlooked. That unrelenting drive helped farmers and related industry to continue to weather that storm.
Storms of the physical kind hit ag hard. But the mindset of a grower impressed me when his response was more about how he could make is situation work as opposed to crying about his sugar cane which had been lodged. That’s what successful farmers do.
When our farm was flooded for the second time back in the 90s, we took it as an opportunity to reline ditches and level some land. It’s what you did, there wasn’t a whole lot of weeping or gnashing of teeth.
And that’s the mental resolve I have come to expect from the producers I know. Not every grower I know is uplifting and cheery eyed, but every one of them has some kind of resolve.
At some point in 2020 when I asked a question about what someone thought about COVID-19 or the hurricane situation I was confronted with a roll of the eyes and a “whatever” reply. Most growers were thinking about what they had to do to get their crop out or their next crop in – moving on and getting to work.
I was very blessed in 2020. I have a new warm home and a wonderful job, one that affords me the opportunity to visit with forward thinking, hardworking individuals that I respect. I have been blessed by my maker.
I hope 2021 brings the same for you.