Ag community looks forward with optimism

Lucas Eide Columnist

As the end of the year is coming quickly I can’t help but think about what has happened thus far in 2013.  So far, we’ve seen history being made: the Mayan Calendar was proven wrong, the Boston Marathon was bombed, and Daniel Day-Lewis won his third overall Academy Award for his work in the motion picture, Lincoln.  Christmas ads felt like they started in October and dollars spent on Black Friday shopping hit a whopping $18 billion just in the online sector.  I don’t think anyone can argue with me that no matter what way 2013 gets looked at, the year will clearly be one that most of us will never forget.

Agriculture, in the eyes of a college student had an extremely interesting year.  Although day-to-day disappointments arise, I can’t help but feel that the agricultural side of the year was nothing but hardship. 

For one, corn fell below half of what it was on Dec. 1 of last year.  Around the Brookings/Watertown area, the spring was an extremely hard one to get through because of the blizzards in April – which in my opinion led to one of the toughest calving seasons ever experienced.  Crops were late getting planted because of the never-ending rain, and (because history repeats itself across the state) crops were taken out early due to the lack of rain.  

And let’s not forget about the unbelievably unfortunate blizzards that hit West River South Dakota. That catastrophic event led to more broken hearts, tears and expenses than anyone could possibly imagine.

Talking with some ag students from home and from places other than east-central South Dakota, farmers and ranchers had no easy task ahead of them when the clock turned to Jan. 1, 2013.

What does this all mean for next year?  

The truth is: I don’t know.  I heard a quote once that said, “The only two things you can’t control are sickness and the weather” – and that’s about right.  Disasters will happen and some losses cannot be prevented.  Waking up hoping for the greatest day will only lead to disappointment, but waking up hoping for the sun to rise and for a beautiful sunset will usually lead to satisfaction.

Changing to a more optimistic point-of-view, what can we look forward to next year?  Well, school-wise we can look forward to better classes, more opportunity, meeting new people, or maybe trying new things.

Agriculturally, we tend to look forward to making something better such as a fencing project or building a shed.  I specifically look forward to the warm days of winter and the cool days of summer.  Maybe one looks forward to new financial opportunities like purchasing capital to further his or her business.

Any way you look at it, from either a student’s or a farmer’s perspective, there is always something to look forward to despite the unfortunate happenings of the previous year.

I wish you all good luck on your semester exams; safe travels throughout this holiday season, and a Happy New Year full of opportunity, happiness and joy.


Luke Eide is majoring in agricultural business. He can be reached at [email protected].