“Thank you, God, for food so good; help us do the things we should. Aaaaaaa-Men.” This might seem like the simplest prayer you’ve read, but in our household, it is recited almost nightly. It is the one our then-2-year-old daughter learned at daycare, and it is one she actually taught her dad and me. I think it covers two important topics – being thankful and reminding us to do good deeds.
As our 2-year-old turned three, our supper time prayer has gotten longer. She thanks God specifically for our meal, our house, her daddy and mama and Lily (I mean, if you can’t be thankful for yourself, who can be?), Holly (the blue heeler), grandmas, papas, friends, school. Sometimes she is thankful for cow shows or pig shows or hotels with swimming pools or pumpkins – depending on the season. Remarkably, she is a very grateful girl, but more often than not, forgets that last part of the prayer, asking for help to do the things she should.
As someone who has always been taught to be thankful, we are approaching one of my favorite holidays – Thanksgiving – a time when we don’t have to commercialize or shop for anything. We gather with friends and family, eat too much delicious food and if I work it right, I get a short nap on weekday. I like to think of everything I am thankful for and take a little extra time to thank God for the blessings and gifts He has bestowed on me: family, friends, roots in agriculture, health, the freedom to live in a country to live and believe as I want to, a great career, a home, a loyal dog that doubles as my daily office assistant and my faith.
I often wonder what others involved in agriculture are thankful for at Thanksgiving.
John Spangler, a fourth-generation family farmer and cow-calf producer from Marietta, Ill., said he has lots to be thankful for as he finishes up another corn and soybean harvest. This year, three generations, including himself, his dad Bruce, and son Nathan drove combines on the farm. They experienced record yields, still have marketing opportunities for their crops and the cattle markets have remained steady.
“No one thought it (yields) could be better than last year, but it was. The Board of Trade gave us good opportunities last spring to market old and new crop, and raising cattle is still worth the effort,” Spangler said.
Here’s what others are thankful for:
“I am thankful for all the opportunity and amazing people that God puts in front of me; I see it in every little thing all day.” – Lisa Norton, President and COO of BioZyme® Inc.
“I am most thankful for my son, Weston. But, in that I am also beyond thankful for the generosity that rural Americans seem to come forth with in times of need. (Spending) 129 days in a NICU can be overwhelming but the support and help we received from our community was amazing.” – Dustin Wiley, new dad and Ag teacher in Goodland, Kansas
“As we enter into this season of Thanksgiving, I try to remind myself to continually be thankful, not just when it’s in season. Working with students daily reminds me that kindness is always in season. I’m a 4th generation agriculturist from Western Nebraska who is continually grateful for parents and grandparents that shared with me their passion for agriculture and love of our land and resources. They didn’t teach me how, they showed me how. I am fortunate to have had amazing teachers and mentors, in and out of the classroom; and like my family, they demonstrated so many things through action. I hope that I am able to do the same for the students I work with. Every day, no matter our role, we should be thankful for the farmers and ranchers who contribute to our lives. Their contributions go beyond food and clothing, and we need to continue to share our story. It’s the best way that we can thank them.” – Dr. Samantha Cunningham, Assistant Professor/Instructor, Colorado State University
“This Thanksgiving I am thankful for the memories and the friendships I have made within the Hereford breed. I look forward to the opportunity to represent the heritage and future of American Hereford Association. I am grateful to have a supportive family that encourages me to chase my dreams.” – Emily Meinhardt, 2018-19 National Hereford Queen and junior at Kansas State University
Remember, blessings come in all shapes and sizes. This year we might be thanking God for our food, the farmers who raise and produce our food, family-young and old- and opportunities that we’ve just earned and those yet to come our way. Remember in all things to give thanks.