Michael Dolch

(Photo: Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association)

Policy Update: Old Fashioned and Thankful

November 3, 2020

To break from the policy, politics and politicians, this month’s column will look, feel and read a bit different. A welcomed break, I’m sure. 

As I stroke the keyboard, sip coffee and shoot a glance out the window, it looks like fall folded early and winter has won out. But it’s Iowa, and we all know that fall won’t go down without a fight through November and early December. Some folks loathe this time of year as the temperature drops, snow flies and the days get shorter. For some, though, including me, it’s perhaps the most wonderful time of year. Harvest is ending, hunting (shotgun) season is around the corner, football is still being played and the holidays are upon us. 

2020 has been a bear. No other way to describe it. Both large and small, though, there’s much to be thankful for and look forward to. In late October, for example, I attended my first concert of the year. 

When Ned LeDoux took the stage and his guitar came to life, everything right up until that moment was suddenly left behind. All the worry, work and wild political accusations were gone. It felt good, dare I say normal(ish) with Wranglers pinching, boots tapping and music filling the air. For those who might not recognize the name, LeDoux is the son of rodeo champion and country music singer-songwriter Chris LeDoux. As Ned worked through the setlist, one number caught my attention. The song was called “Old Fashioned.” Rather than describe the song and story within, I’ll share the first lyric and chorus. 

Still favor the same ol’ hat 
And these worn-out pair of boots 
Sticking with tradition 
Proud of my roots 
Raised up on common sense 
Grandad showed me the way 
Staying true to my word 
Some things will never change 
Call me old fashioned, that’s fair to say 
That’s who I am, a little set in my ways 
Tried the brand new, but I just ain’t the same 
So call me old fashioned, I’m proud of that name 

As we move beyond the endless attack ads, it’s an acute reminder that while there are so many things out of our control – the market, the bank, the weather – there are many more we can control and be thankful for. For me, it’s my attitude, faith, family, friends, my roots and of course, my job working for you, the Iowa soybean farmer. Like LeDoux, call me old-fashioned, but I’m proud of that name. 

These words are hitting the page before the election, so as you read this after the endless speculation and analysis, things might look different. Maybe not. Regardless of the outcome, know that we are committed to working with our elected officials, on either side of the aisle, to advance commonsense policy and deliver a farmer-friendly regulatory environment for you and the soybean business. 

If you’ve opted in and belong to the ISA as a farmer member or Advocate, I’m here to provide an opportunity to be engaged and active within the organization. 

Got questions? Concerns? Ideas? Give me a shout. I would love to hear from you, the experts in the field. 

In closing, we are sending warm, heartfelt wishes from our farm to yours. Take care, talk soon.

This story was originally published in the November 2020 issue of the Iowa Soybean Review.