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Playing favorites

Agriculture.com Staff 11/05/2008 @ 8:56am

Many years ago, I took a personality test and the results said one of my characteristics is that I like to play favorites. After giving this some thought, I said to myself, "You are darn right I like to play favorites."

Included on my list of favorites are Ford trucks and red farm equipment, which would explain my red Ford pickup. In reality, I have a predisposition for anything in red. I have nothing against other brands of trucks or other colors of farm equipment. I am loyal, but not blindly loyal. I just know what I like.

Here is another one of my favorites and it is a big one. I am a huge fan of American agriculture. That covers a wide range to include fiber and vegetable growers, livestock and small grain producers, machinery manufacturers and the people in sales and service, our credit system, fertilizer, seed and herbicide companies, ethanol and elevators, farm broadcasters and magazines, and farm newspapers. However, my real fondness is for that part of agriculture I know the best, corn and soybean production.

My moments of greatest pride in farming happen every spring and fall during planting and harvesting as empty fields are quickly and quietly turned into rows of corn and soybeans. In the fall over a few weeks time, acres and acres of crops are removed and the ground is prepared for next spring.

I had one of my agricultural cheerleader moments a few days ago going over the top of a hill on a county blacktop. I could see for several miles in all directions and I saw a green dot working its way across a tan cornfield under a bright blue October sky. Between that John Deere combine and me were fields that had been harvested and some were already turned over. It was only weeks ago these same fields were full of standing crops.

To say that harvest is accomplished quickly and quietly does not pay homage to all those who spend the long hours preparing and doing the actual work required to get the job done. However, it is amazes me every year what my farm neighbors for the hundreds of miles in all directions get done.

American agriculture remains a vital force in this world. It is a system without equal anywhere else and that is why my chest swells with pride at this time of year.

On our vacation last summer to Glacier National Park, my wife and I stayed at Glacier Park Lodge, one of those grand lodges built about 100 years ago. Walking into the lobby your eyes go up and up to the lofty ceiling supported by trees that still have their bark on them. It was like standing in a barn with the haymow floor missing and yes, I did wonder how many bales of hay would fit in there.

That evening a boys choir had arrived from the Amtrak depot across the large lawn and they put on a concert in the lodge lobby. At the concert's conclusion, the director told everyone to stand up and we will all sing America, the Beautiful. I could not wait to do that. I filled my lungs with air and I sang with all the pride I had in that wonderful beautiful setting.

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