Thanksgiving and harvest. There's just something special about this time of year. There's something poignant about that transition from summer's relentless heat, to autumn's progressive relief. For us in agriculture we're rounding the bend, nearing the finish line for our hard-fought, long-awaited harvest. I can't imagine fall without it.
I wonder if God created autumn just for farmers. It's as though the crops, along with the leaves on the trees, lose their bright green color only to wave radiant hues of orange, yellows and browns, reminding us, the harvest is near. We're almost to the finish line.
Everywhere you look miles of cropland are adorned with sorghum heads in various fall shades, yellowing corn and blankets of white open cotton. And interspersed in between are circles dotted with round hay bales. Could there be anything more beautiful than agriculture on display?
And then it arrives. It's long days and cool nights. God begins to dim the lights on the season with less daylight and yet illuminates the night with a harvest moon. Maybe it's God way of reminding us once more, 'you're almost there,' 'it's almost over,' 'you're not alone,' 'we're going to finish this together.'
The highways command drivers' patience as wide, slow cotton strippers and combines make their way down the shoulder to the next field. Tractors pulling plows follow, ready to enter harvested fields, and prepare the ground for wheat. All the while 18-wheelers are making their rounds from the field to the co-op delivering corn, silage and grain. It's like a confetti parade as they speed by, silage and bees wings filling the air. White lint catches along the highway's edge like snowfall.
It's a season when meals are spent at the John Deere café as farmers' wives creatively prepare various handheld entrees so nothing has to stop, and our farmers can take full advantage of clear weather.
And then it's over. Another season. Used to my farmer had the winter off, like someone hit the pause button. But that doesn't seem to happen anymore. Decisions for the next season are often being made while our farmers are getting out the current crop.
Farming is hard and yet wonderful, painstaking and yet rewarding. We've arrived at a season marked by finishes and thanksgiving. So, let's celebrate! Let's give thanks! What are you thankful for this year?
I'm thankful for the harvest. I'm thankful for another year and a break in the drought. I'm thankful for my farmer's health and how hard he works on behalf of God and his family. I'm thankful for my children and the opportunity to be their mom. And I continue to be thankful for my job.
What a joy it is meeting with growers across the Southwest, visiting with you and often your families, sometimes in the cab of stripper and other times around your dinner table. Thank you for the blessing! And Happy Thanksgiving!
Take a look at this forage sorghum harvest gallery on one of our farms southeast of Olton, Texas. Thankful for the harvest!