As I sat down to write today’s blog post, I scrolled through some of my older posts for topic inspiration. When I came across a post about the growing conditions we had last year, I stopped. This year may not have been ideal—it was a dry summer, the recent rain is slowing down harvest, we have even had SNOW in some parts of the state already—but, wow, are we better off than we were a year ago or what?

Sometimes, it seems as though farmers are never satisfied. It’s either too hot, too cold, too dry, too wet… but I can honestly say I have noticed a big difference in attitude this year. Isn’t that how it always goes? It takes some bad days to get us to really appreciate the good ones. Sometimes, we don’t even need to experience a bad day ourselves, we just have to see others go through it. How about those ranchers in South Dakota that experienced such great loss in their cattle herds this year? I bet that put things into perspective for many other cattle farmers across the nation.

So, today I am counting my blessings. Even if rain (or snow) is keeping your combine out of the fields today, take a moment to appreciate the many blessings we do have this year. Thanksgiving is right around the corner, but don’t wait until then to give thanks. We have so much to be thankful for, we should take more than one day a year to recognize our blessings!

rsandersonRosie Sanderson
ICGA/ICMB Membership Administrative Assistant


Thanksgiving is a time to remember what we are thankful for and be grateful for the opportunities we have had that make us who we are. As I remember what I am thankful for I think about what has impacted my life the most. I am thankful for the opportunity to grow up on a farm. Although the farm was not big I learned working hard was the key to being successful.

My grandparents (who were originally from Chicago) decided to buy a small farm in Northern Illinois and start a dairy operation. Although they did not know the hard work they were going to face, they hit the challenge head on. Dairy farms raise female dairy breed cattle that produce milk for ice cream, cheese, and other dairy products. Dairy farming was not financially feasible for my family which made my farm switch from dairy to grain.

Thankfully, my family decided and were able to keep up with farming rather than give up on it all. Sadly, many farmers have had to stop farming because of financial issues and the younger generations not wanting or able to take over the farming operation. Luckily, my family was able to start a corn and soybean farm and my dad was willing to it take over.

When I was young I can remember how hard my dad worked to create a successful farming operation; but it was not until I was older when I had to get down and dirty learning it the hard way. Although not all times of the year are always busy and stressful, the busiest time of the year is where I learned the most about hard work. And that time of the year is both spring when planting and the fall when harvesting (picking the corn and soybeans). During spring and fall time the most physical labor is done as well as the longest hours. Of course if the weather is accommodating planting and harvest would go a lot smoother. Nevertheless, as we all know, the weather is unpredictable this makes planning for these two seasons almost impossible. But no matter what Mother Nature has in store, the job has to get done and patience was important to be able to keep working hard through long hours day and night.

This is only one example out of many others of how I have learned hard work from being on the farm. I am thankful for having the opportunity to live and work on my family’s farm. Through my experiences, I learned the importance of patience and the rewards of hard work. Qualities like this many farm kids acquire at a young age and use throughout their life, whether they decide to stay on the farm or pursue other careers.

Remember to be thankful for your experiences because they shape who you are.

Bronwyn Burgweger
Illinois State University