Fall harvest, football, turkey, and year-round thanks

Hooray – it’s harvest season for many in agriculture. For many growers, the most satisfying times during the crop cycle include watching for a new seedling to break through the soil’s crust; and the sights of watching a picker, combine, shaker, human hands, or other harvest methods to deliver the season’s bounty.

I was recently snapping photos during a Pima cotton harvest and suddenly stopped - just watched and listened. Harvest was not only a portrait for the eyes; it was also a well-orchestrated and timed event, and music to the ears - country style.

I listened to the equipment ‘roar’ and the sweet music of the module builder pressing cotton for gin delivery. It was an outdoor concert ready to be remembered.

Perhaps it’s time to write a country song about it – cue the music track – “Cotton pickers are pickin’- farmers are grinnin’ – Barney the dog’s ears are flyin’.

I know…keep my day job! We’ll ALL be better off.

Fall days eventually lead to cooler temperatures – worthy of your favorite jacket and a good jolt of caffeine – a large mug of hot chocolate with sticky wet large marshmallows melting on top and oozing down the sides.

Fall also means football games at alma maters on campuses everywhere. Once in a while, your favorite team just might make the big time.

Until the Nov. 15 football loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide, my alma mater - Mississippi State University – was the top team in the nation in college football for five consecutive weeks (bragging rights). Never ever happened before. A great dose of Thanksgiving thanks for that miracle!

My days as a student “Moo U” were filled with too many lopsided final scores. One year, Alabama destroyed MSU in pigskin action, 72-0.

Another year, I was driving to a farm meeting in southwestern Michigan and an excited voice on the radio proclaimed that the number-one ranked Alabama Crimson Tide had been shockingly upset by the MSU Bulldogs (my Bulldogs) – final score 6-3. I almost self-ejected myself in excitement from the moving car.

Fall is also when many of us gather with family and friends, and thank God for our many blessings, including the many lessons learned at the school of hard knocks.

As we circle around the Thanksgiving table soon with festive turkey and the trimmings, let’s remember to thank God for our families; those who have passed away this year - gone but lest never forgotten; and those who serve or have served in the military to guard our precious freedoms.

And thank our famers – whose tireless efforts delivered yet another cornucopia of food and fiber which too often we take for granted the other 364 days of the year. Thank you, farmers, for your tireless efforts through thick and thin.

Happy Thanksgiving and God Bless America! We are very fortunate!

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