As the year winds down we're all looking back on what started with such great promise and ended with such disappointment. To have an entire crop in so early was astounding. The epic failure of the weather will not be forgotten for some time for anyone on the farm.
The only good news about this year will be the stories you'll get to tell your grandkids. The surprise bump in yields for soybeans and the solid winter wheat yields will be remembered. But a year like 2012 spooks you for 2013. None of us knows now what the greatest variable - weather - holds in store.
The end of the year also brings a penchant of resolutions; those chances to start fresh on a better body or mind, or both. I try not to make resolutions because I don't like breaking promises, but here, in writing, I'll try for a few. You can check up on me later this year.
More informed: For 2013 I want to be even better informed about the tools and technology you need to farm for the future. As part of that I also want an even better understanding of the "information" ag detractors are using to tear down what we are trying to build in this country. Yep I have to start reading stuff from GMO haters, animal rights people and even Mark Bittman from the New York Times a long-time hater of conventional agriculture.
More connected: Social media has become such a hot tool that I want to connect even better with readers and industry folks next year. You can follow me on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/willie1701a. And if you want to contact me put @willie1701a in your tweet, I'll see it and respond. And you can comment on this blog - because comments are how you can make sure I'm providing you the information you need on everything from Tier 4 Final engines (2013 is the launch year for new machines that HAVE to be ready for 2014) to telematics.
More available: We've been making changes on our website all year that make it easier for you to connect with the authors on the site. If you use the tools at the top of this blog, including "email the author" you can ask me questions directly. Heck it might be an idea for another print column or another blog. Conversation is important for media outlets to do a better job and we want that.
More traveled: Looks like I'll be on the road a lot in 2013, might as well make it an easy resolution I know I can keep. I'll be at the American Farm Bureau Federation meeting; National Farm Machinery Show for a day (shortest time ever); Commodity Classic; and other places. If you see me walking around with my big blue camera bag, stop to talk. Yes I walk like I'm on a mission, but you can always pull me aside to say 'hi.' Time spent with farmers is why I stay in this business.
We never know what the New Year will bring. Yet there is one thing I do know, the American Farmer can be kicked, beaten and dried out by markets, weather and detractors, but he or she keeps getting back up, dusting off and getting back to producing the food, fuel and fiber this country needs to succeed. I'm wishing you a Happy New Year to you and your family, and best wishes for a successful 2013.