During all the “windshield time” I had while combining #crop13, I found myself thinking about all the blessings in my life. Today, in the midst of this 30 Days of Thanks, I’ve decided to share my Top 10 list publicly.
10. Democracy. Those who read my “Musings of a Pig Farmer” blog regularly might find it ironic that the U.S. government makes the Top 10 List of Things for Which I’m thankful. I’ve certainly written my fair share of critiques about regulations and aired my concerns about the Farm Bill. While it’s far from perfect, I believe America has the world’s most fair political system.
9. Food Choice. I am thankful for the many, many choices of food we have in this country from gluten-free and organic to local foods. Americans are blessed with the world’s safest, least expensive, and most abundant food supply. We spend about 10% of our annual incomes on food, which is quite low when compared to other countries. For the most part, Americans are able to choose foods for enjoyment rather than necessity alone.
8. Freedom. I am thankful for the freedom we cherish in this country: free speech, freedom to bear arms, freedom of religion… and the list goes on. It’s important to protect these freedoms and to stand up for our convictions.
7. Technology and Innovation. I am so thankful to live during this time in history. Just think of all the technology and innovations we enjoy! People often reminisce about the “good ol’ days,” yet they forget how tough they really were. I remember doing farm work in the winter without a heated tractor cab! I remember when we didn’t have central heat, so we warmed our frozen hands and feet by the potbellied stove. I even remember the time before we had central plumbing… Enough said! While much of the Midwest enjoys a long legacy of agricultural success, but technology is redefining agriculture. We must continue to embrace technology to help grow enough food to meet global demand.
6. Pride in America. I’m so thankful for the good old US of A, the melting pot of the world. The exchange of ideas and blending of cultures is what has made this country great. Synergy was created. As an old farmer, “synergy” makes me think of corn hybrids and the strength that comes from breeding different corn plants together. I’m proud of those who pioneered – and continue to innovate – our food systems.
5. Clean Air and Water. I am thankful for our clean air and water. Yeah, I know some folks will not agree with me on this one. After all the reading I have done about the Dust Bowl – and reflecting upon how we farmed in the sixties and seventies – I know we have greatly improved our air and water quality. If you compare our environment to that in other developing countries, hands down, we are ahead!
4. Military Service. Yesterday was Veterans’ Day, a day to recognize past and present members of the military. Honestly, I believe they deserve our thanks each and every day. I also want to be sure and recognize their family members, who are often overlooked. A soldier’s family most certainly makes a sacrifice when they’re loved ones are serving. Those on the home front are filled with worry and anxiety, plus are left to take care of all the day-to-day tasks and responsibilities that the solider isn’t able to do while on active duty. Yes, military families deserve our thanks and praise!
3. Grandkids. I am very thankful for my grandkids! Everyone is different and unique. I enjoy watching them discover their passions. They give me direction and purpose, and sometimes they make me use of ALL my faith!
2. Kids. At one time in my life, I was very afraid I would not have a family. On my 30th birthday, I married Janice and had an instant family. What a blessing. I love you guys!
1. The Love of my Life. The number one thing for which I am thankful is the love of my wife, Janice! How she puts up with all my quirks and my farming habit, I do not understand. She is the one who has led me to my faith, and without her, there would be none of the other numbers on this list. Love ya, Babe!
I’m feeling so grateful and humble right now. There is so much more I could write about each item on my Top 10 List. There are also many things for which I’m grateful that I didn’t even list. What are you most thankful for?