Monday, October 1, 2012

The Harvest: Soybeans and Gratitude

While driving down Highway 169 to the Maple River FFA Chapter Friday and down Highway 12 to the Benson FFA Chapter Monday, I snaked through miles and miles of countryside. Corn fields rolled into the horizon before being swallowed by combines. The trees along the river exploded into magnificent hues of red and yellow. Along with standing in awe and gratitude for the fantastic scenery and thinking about the visits I was making, it hit me how blessed we are to be plugged into the most important industry in the world.

Agriculture is the backbone of all careers. As agriculturalists we have the opportunity to determine what the next generation of agriculture will look like. There are gargantuan challenges to face like population growth, hunger, and water scarcity just to name a few. But we also have a tremendous opportunity. We have the potential to leave a mark and leave our world better than we found it. This is something to be thankful for, and as I watched the combines harvesting beans along the Minnesota river, I stood in awe of American agriculture.

"Ok" you might be thinking, "but what does this have to do with me? I'm not going to stop world hunger or anything like that." Granted, not everyone is going to (or should) work on solving world hunger, but I know in some Benson agriculture classes there are students who want to be farmers. For some feeding the world has to do with bringing better farming practices to the developing world, but for others it means bringing in a bumper crop. When I visited Maple River, I saw Greenhand members exploring what FFA can do to develop their potential. Hopefully someday they will give back by being leaders in their own homes, communities, and the agricultural industry. I am thankful that sometimes the small acts can be incredibly important.

I am grateful. I am appreciative for the beauty of our fall countryside, hopeful for the the future of agriculture, but most of all blessed to be impacted by Minnesota's 9,500 FFA members. As you go through this autumn season remember to stop, look around, and say "thank you" to those who have made you what you are.

From the Emblem of Washington,
Nathan Daninger

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