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We finally had a nice run of decent weather and were able to make a dent on the corn harvest over the weekend. There’s still a lot to be done, but it makes you feel better when you can cross fields off the to-be-harvested list. The weather folks are calling for rain later today along with more rain and possible snow later this week. Not what we need. Perhaps one of these times they will be wrong when it comes to more precipitation this year. I am hoping for more sun, so we can switch back and get soybeans finished, but it doesn’t sound promising right now.

Considering the challenges of 2019, we are thankful for the yields we do have out there. It will be a year we remember for a long time. Wet spring with flooding, late planting, record number of prevent plant acres, more rains and flooding all summer long, wet fall, early snow, more rains, with a late harvest with wet grain and a lack of LP when we need it. Frustrations and tensions galore this year, but while we struggle, we still have hope and are already planning for the 2020 growing season.

It’s been fun the past couple weeks following the ALOT program page of the Illinois Farm Bureau on Facebook. ALOT is celebrating 40 years of leadership development classes this year. I participated as a member of the class of 2006 and our photo was featured a few days ago. I made wonderful friends and great memories while it opened doors for me to grow as an individual to get more involved in my community. Involvement in the community on school boards, county boards, non-profits, 4-H, FFA and boards of ag businesses is essential to the strength of our rural communities.

I’m thankful my family has supported being involved in the community and programs to develop personally. I have had a lifelong role model in my dad, Keith, on dedication and commitment to a board of directors. This week, I’m especially proud of him as he is retiring from the Stephenson Service Co. Board of Directors. I don’t recall a time in my life that he hasn’t been serving on the local FS board, attending monthly meetings along with other GROWMARK meetings. He received his 25 years of service gold watch from Max Armstrong at the 75th anniversary annual meeting in 2005. He took the battery of that watch dying as a sign it was time for him to retire and move on after 39 years on the board. He has always had the same philosophy as a board member and readily passes that philosophy on to new employees and salesmen: “If you look out for the farmer, the farmer will look out for you.” Great advice for anyone in agriculture. Congratulations, Dad. Thank you for being a great example to your family and others of what a leader should be.

As this is my final week to share insights for the 2019 growing season, I want to thank those that have stopped and mentioned that they have enjoyed the articles. I hope I have shared a nice cross-section of agriculture both from the field and ag related events in our region. It’s been fun sharing from Northern Illinois for the past three years. Stay safe out there finishing harvest. There have been too many news stories lately of deaths in grain bins, field accidents, ag equipment versus non-ag vehicle accidents on the roadways. Nothing is too important to not take a few extra minutes to do things safely and to be extra cautious. The marathon continues, but we will all cross that finish line.

Thank you for following along once again this year. Here’s wising you a happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful holiday season.

This article originally ran on agrinews-pubs.com.

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