“Musings of a Pig Farmer”
By Larry Sailer

Today I’d like to share some of the things for which I’m thankful.  There’s no way that I can cover everything, and that alone speaks volumes!

First of all, I’m thankful to live in a democracy where we’re afforded the freedom of speech.  I’m thankful for TheFieldPosition.com for giving me a platform to voice my concerns, as well to share why and how I farm with those who are interested enough to read my weekly “Musings of a Pig Farmer” blog.  I’m also thankful for you since you’re reading my post!  ?

I’m thankful for the ability to express my thoughts – this alone would have been unimaginable 10 years ago.  I can still remember my first interview as the State of Iowa Feeder Pig Chairman.  Farm broadcaster Von Ketelsen interviewed me during our last feeder pig show, which we were forced to shut down to help eradicate pseudorabies.  I answered many of Von’s questions with “yes” or “no.”  Such one-word answers should have been the end of my interviews.  Fortunately, Von called me again last week for another interview.  He must still think I have something worth sharing, and I’m thankful for second chances.

In addition to learning how to better communicate my message, over the years I’ve become a better listener.  Helping farmers and ranchers be understood by the folks, who are far removed from the farm, keeps me motivated.  I’m thankful for technologies like the Internet, iPads, computers and Smartphones that allow me to make friends across the globe.  Thank you, my social media network!  I feel blessed to talk with and learn from people all over the world – from my home office.

Advocating is just one of the challenges facing us in agriculture.  Every year presents new hurdles, whether they’re regulatory or weather-related.  This past year has been no different.  Lack of rainfall caused the 2012 crop conditions to decline week after week.  Yet, we raised a crop!  I am very thankful to have had the yields I did with the very short amount of rain that fell.

Last but certainly not least, I am thankful for my close family.  We’ve made it through another year with only minor bumps in the road.  Some of those bumps seemed big at the time, but looking back, you all handled things pretty smoothly.  A heartfelt “thank you” to my wife, Janice, for putting up with me for another year and for allowing me to spend time agvocating when I could be working on her “Honey Do List.”  (Janice, I promise to try harder next year!  Maybe I’ll even get that waterfall built in 2013.)  I also want to thank my kids and grandkids for helping me on the farm and for giving me so much pleasure as I follow their lives.  Thirty-five years ago, I never thought that would never happen!  I am truly blessed by all of you.

Thanksgiving gives us time to step back and reflect.  I hope you’ll take the time this week to say a prayer and count your blessings, too!