Editor of the Iowa Soybean Review

(Photo: Iowa Soybean Association / Joclyn Bushman)

Rural Route 2: A reason to celebrate

March 8, 2024 | Bethany Baratta

“Make a wish,” they said, as I blew out my birthday candles last month. But I don’t need wishes; I’m blessed with everything I need. Instead, I prayed for my parents who brought me into the world and the family and friends who accompany me.  

Growing up with a twin brother, our birthday was a double celebration. We chose our own cake flavors and got to request our favorite dishes (my favorite was Mom’s Hawaiian pork chops and rice). As we got older, we picked a shared group of friends and celebrated. Having a February birthday and living on the farm, some of the best plans were often revised due to weather.  

Our shared birthday looks a bit different now. My twin brother—who is 11 minutes older—has an amazing family of his own, and lives on the other side of the state. Still, birthdays mean a lot to both of us. Maybe it's because we are parents now, and seeing tiny babies turn into kids is remarkable. Or maybe it's because of the traditions growing up. Maybe it's all the above.  

Still, thanks to technology, we share a toast on our birthday. This year, for the first time ever, Super Bowl Sunday landed on our birthday (and vice versa). So, in addition to sharing birthday highlights, we also discussed our favorite commercials from the big game.  

The Iowa Soybean Association officially celebrates its 60th birthday in December. Like other birthdays, I don’t think we should limit the merriment to the day of—it ought to be celebrated all year (more cake!). But between the spaces of perfectly placed birthday candles on the cake, lie the challenges that bridge successes from year to year. I’m grateful to be with you as you traverse this year and beyond. I’m here to help find answers to your questions and connect you with resources that have your interests top of mind. I’m also here to listen as you navigate the markets and whatever life throws your way. My birthday wish—my prayer—is for a successful year for each of you.