Rick Bissell of Corning shared this photo of their belo

The Last Word: Oh, What a Year!

December 15, 2020

There is stress attached to the unknown. At least there is for me. 

I’ve got a free-spirit, and I love spontaneous adventures, but I’m also the one in the passenger seat holding the road map. It’s important to me to know where I’m going once I’m on my way. But, this year just felt like an outdated atlas. The vision I had at the beginning of 2020 served of no value when things started going off the rails. Like it or not, I’m just along for the ride. 

It’s strange to think that we are living during a historical time. Our story is being written, and we are navigating the best we can without knowing what’s ahead. Future generations will study and analyze this time, and yet, they will never truly know what it has been like emotionally, financially and spiritually. 

As a result, this realization has made me feel more connected to my ancestors. I’ve thought a lot about what my grandparents experienced during the Great Depression. I’ve empathized with the mothers of the past who worried about their babies getting polio, influenza and other viruses. And I’ve felt admiration for their faithfulness, resilience, ingenuity and pure determination. 

It’s part of my nature to find meaning in hardship. If you have to go through something difficult, I believe you’d better embrace the lessons presented to you. And there are always, always, lessons to be learned. 

So many of you have experienced true loss this year. Loss of connectivity. Loss of crops and equipment. Loss of income. And most tragically, loss of loved ones. It can be hard to see goodness during these times, but it’s there, hidden in the depths of hope. 

In this issue of the Iowa Soybean Review, we took an in-depth look at the year related to agriculture. We’ve attempted to showcase some kindness amid sadness and some continuity during extreme shifts of normalcy. It’s been a tough year for our industry, but we want you to know we are virtually walking beside you and working on your behalf. 

As we close out 2020, I’ve never been so excited to celebrate and enjoy the holiday season. Christmas has always been magical to me, but this year just feels more meaningful. Perhaps it’s the renewed appreciation for my family and our good health. Or maybe it’s merely choosing to focus on joy right now. 

Shifting our focus toward new beginnings, I’d love to know what you’re looking forward to this season. I pray joy comes naturally for you, but if you are working a little harder at it this year, let me know how you’re doing it. I think we could all use some inspiration. 

I am incredibly grateful to have heard f rom so many of you about your farm trucks. If others of you have stories, send them in. If you have a comment about a story in the magazine, I want to hear about it. If you have thoughts about farming or agriculture in general, hit me up. It all matters to me. 

Stay well, my friends. See you next year. 

Read The Truck Series: Letters to the Editor of the Iowa Soybean Review.

This story was originally published in the December 2020 issue of the Iowa Soybean Review. Click the brackets in the bottom right corner to view the magazine in full screen.