Over the holiday, I watched the Dr. Seuss’ movie “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” As you recall, the Grinch lives in a cave with his dog and becomes very frustrated with his neighbors in Whoville when they celebrate Christmas.
The angry Grinch develops a plan to ruin Christmas for those in Whoville. He uses his dog to carry out this plan by stealing all of the gifts and Christmas trees from the residents of Whoville.
When Christmas arrives, the Grinch is surprised at the reaction from the residents. Instead of being upset, the people of Whoville demonstrate that it’s not the presents that are important.
Instead, they welcome Christmas in the spirit of teamwork by standing together to celebrate and appreciate one another for what they have. The Grinch’s heart grows larger, and he returns to the people of Whoville everything he took.
As I reflected on the movie, it made me think that farmers are much like the people living in Whoville. Below are just a few examples.
- Farmers are optimistic. Each year, seeds are planted with the hope that plants grow, mature and will be harvested. Dairy farmers are optimistic that a heifer calf will grow, become pregnant, have a calf of her own and enter the milking herd.
- Farmers help one another — especially in times of adversity. Maybe it’s an illness, equipment breakdown, weather or something else that brings farmers together to help colleagues in need.
- Farmers support their community — some sponsor baseball teams or give to community causes. For example, the dairy committee in Tuscarawas County donated milk to families when schools were closed due to COVID. The committee has also donated dairy products to a group home in the county. Everyone benefits from small acts of kindness.
- Family is important to farmers. It’s not uncommon for farm businesses to include multiple generations working closely together in pursuit of success. Farm families recognize the importance of members and are thankful for the contributions each member makes.
- Dogs are often a part of the farm. Even the grumpiest person has a loyal farm dog that will be there through thick and this.
For some, this can be a difficult time of year. Circumstances change, and sometimes holiday gatherings are not what they once were. If this is your situation, I encourage you to reach out and talk to someone you trust. If you know of someone experiencing these circumstances, practice the holiday spirit of reaching out and giving to others who need it most.
Some folks use this time of year to reflect on the past year and develop a resolution(s) for the coming year. If this is you, I encourage you to pick one that is most important and will make a lasting impact on you, your family, and/or farm.
I want to thank all the farmers, colleagues, supporters and others with whom I’ve had the opportunity to work with in 2022. I look forward to many new opportunities in 2023.
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