Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Back from Chicago, rested and recharged

My wife and I returned home last night after a five day visit to Chicago with the AFBF's Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee. And boy-oh-boy was it a getaway I needed! While there was plenty of committee business to attend to while in Chicago, it was a nice break from the day-in, day-out dairy routine. In addition to the business discussed, team building exercises, and public relations training, we also had time to take in a White Sox game, tour Case IH facilities in Racine, look out upon the city from the observation deck of the Willis (Sears) Tower, and visit the CME Group in the historic Chicago Board of Trade building.

The highlight of the trip though was developing and deepening relationships with others who share a love and passion for agriculture and are committed to advancing its cause. We all face challenges, some shared and some unique to our own farms or ranches, but the "good vibes" that are generated when groups such as this come together give you the energy you need to keep on pushing forward.

I'm back on the farm now where low milk prices and unpredictable weather will cause plenty of headaches for the foreseeable future, but I'm back well rested and with a recharged battery. Whatever challenges might come this way will be overcome, and I've never been happier to share my story or do what I can to help others share theirs. American agriculture is on solid ground and is moving towards an even brighter future thanks to the grit, determination, and innovation of farmers and ranchers all across this country, and I for one am proud to be counted in their number.

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