To the new year
By Holly Martin
As 2012 draws to a close, I am looking forward to starting a new year. New Year's Day always gives us occasion to look ahead, start fresh and hope for the best. I've always been of the philosophy that much of what happens to you is affected by the attitude you greet it with. While you can't always change circumstances, you can change how you react to them.
With that in mind, the editorial staff at High Plains Journal and Midwest Ag Journal offer you these wishes for 2013.
Sound policy decisions: The farm bill of 2012 never materialized--that is, unless something miraculous happens in the next couple of days. That leaves the farmers and ranchers of this country uncertain at best. Whether it be estate taxes, conservation policy or crop insurance--decisions need to be made so producers can plan accordingly. And at the same time, we hope the government understands that unneeded and unwanted regulations restrict a farmer's ability to do his job well.
Generous Mother Nature: The past few years have been anything but ideal for a good portion of our readers. In 2013, let's hope for rain--and lots of it in areas that need it. We hope that Mother Nature smiles on us and gives us a reprieve from the challenging years we've experienced.
Continued investment in sound research: Over the last few years, we've seen a growing investment in agriculture research--both private and public. Those types of investments aren't cheap, but they are critical if our industry intends to advance to meet the growing number of challenges.
Stable markets: By their very nature, commodity markets can vary widely. We hope for prices that allow all producers in all segments to remain profitable, while input costs also remain stable. That's not too much to ask, is it?
Connection with consumers: The past year brought advocacy for agriculture to a forefront like never before. Farmers and ranchers--and the entire agriculture industry--are moving forward doing what they can to connect consumers with what we do. This year the Peterson Farm Brothers made over 18 million contacts with a YouTube account, a video camera, their little sister and some creative minds. Let's hope by this time next year the industry has found other creative ways to connect with consumers. And for their part, let's hope for good critical thinking and reading comprehension skills on the part of consumers so that they aren't easily manipulated by emotional appeals of folks who hope to wreak havoc on our food system.
Improved food system: We hope for a more equitable food system that rewards growers for their efforts while at the same time putting food in the hands of people around the world that go to bed hungry every night. In the U.S. we waste 5 million tons of food from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day. Of course, there is no way to get that food to starving people around the world but it seems that there ought to be a better way for the hungry to be fed.
Healthy rural economy: While the economy nationwide has taken a hit over the last few years, what really matters to those of us in rural America is a healthy small-town main street that keeps our school doors open, our hospitals filled with talented doctors and nurses, and the lights on at the small grocery store.
There could be many, many more, but for now we will leave it at that. Here's to a prosperous and Happy New Year!
Holly Martin can be reached by phone at 1-800-452-7171 ext. 1806, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.