Editor Ann Clinton's daughters, Grace, Josephine, Jennifer and Faith (Photo: Iowa Soybean Association)

The Last Word: Story of the Year

December 14, 2021

Does it make me sound old if I start this column by saying I can’t believe how fast 2021 came and went? Maybe it’s a rite of passage that comes with age, but my sense of time has kicked into warp speed.

With that being said, however, I’m a sucker for a yearend recap. I call it my annual calendar audit. I look back on each month and analyze the
time invested in key areas of my life. Then I ask myself, “Was it meaningful?” “Did it reflect who I want to be and how I want to be remembered?” And perhaps most importantly, “What do I want to do differently next year?” It’s my personality to reminisce and honor lessons learned. But then I’m ready to get rolling on the next steps.

Our approach with this edition of the Iowa Soybean Review is no different. I thought it was important to really think about the year, in words and images. Iowa agriculture has been impacted by so many challenging things this year, but we’ve also experienced unexpected highs. This issue of the magazine examines the 2021 journey we took together.

But then watch out, readers… next year, our January 2022 issue is full of what’s to come. We have a lot to look forward to as we turn the calendar page.

In other fun news, I recently asked you to send in pictures of your auger setup. (It was actually a reader’s idea, and I loved it.) The response has been awesome. But it’s not too late. If you’re inspired to share your story, please send it my way. I’ll print more submissions in the next issue. As always, email me at aclinton@iasoybeans.com.

David Krahling, a reader from Sioux Center, sent me the following reflection, which I thought was beautifully stated:

“My guess is that if those tractors could talk, they would have stories to tell, of joys and heartaches, of bumper crops and disasters, of who occupied the seat and who accompanied them on the fender. Pulling out our crappy auger tractors each fall isn’t a chore; it’s an invitation to relive a slice of the past and celebrate the endurance of both farm and tractor.”

As we reflect on our year and think about what comes next, I want to thank you for being on this journey with me. I don’t take for granted the time you invest in reading this magazine or sending me an email. In your “audit,” I hope you find that it’s a rewarding experience.

Sending you Christmas blessings… from my little farmhouse to yours.