The calendar has flipped a page into a new year, whether you’re ready or not! It happens every year. The word "January" has always sounded cold to the Farmer. Growing up on a Farm in the Midwest through the 70’s with livestock made a deep impression on me. My hands are still cold! I can remember dragging out to the machine shed on a bitter cold January day, to mount a tractor and start pushing snow, a daily ritual that year. Just before getting started, I checked the thermometer hanging on the north inside wall just to see what I was up against. It read, minus 25 degrees! Now these were the days before they pronounced wind chills on the news. But as near as I could tell, it was howling out of the NW at least 30 mph, and carrying a healthy amount of snow in its grasp.
Looking back, that must have been a negative 70 to 80 degree wind chill. Luckily I was still in my teens! Now-a-days, I probably would cower back to the house.
The word "January" also brings thoughts of new beginnings; a chance to put the past year behind us, and move forward into new opportunities. Even with the best laid plans, we really never know what lies ahead of us. Life can throw us many curve balls - some we can control, and some we can’t. All we can do is to use our wisdom, and God-given talents to manage the challenges. And with a positive attitude that no matter how it turns out, we know we gave it our best. What I have found after my many years of living, what I like to call “The College of Life”, the outcomes may not always be what we want at first, but with patience and a can-do attitude, it usually works out.
January on the Farm is always exciting times. The Farmer is busy scanning through seed catalog’s, looking for that perfect genetics. Just as a child looks through a Christmas catalog looking for that perfect toy. Every new growing season gives us an opportunity to continue on with the good decisions we made the previous season, and correct the bad ones. Now all this sound fairly simple, but there is always that wild card, “Mother Nature.” A wise old Farmer told me many years ago, she always bats last. No matter how much planning and preparation you do, the weather is always the deciding factor, good or bad. I’ve seen many new Farmers frustrated in the outcomes of their labor due to unfavorable weather. But a seasoned Farmer as myself, understands and accepts the partnership we have with the weather.