An old teal truck on the farm.

Submitted by Harley Hassebroek of Buffalo Center.

The Last Word: Season of Thanksgiving

November 4, 2020

The seeds you planted during a global pandemic were harvested this fall with a welcomed sense of normalcy. Even though the whole world is a little off-kilter, the natural progression of the seasons remained steadfast. 

As the year comes to an end, I am particularly thankful for this growing season. I believe it will be one we’ll all remember. We’ll likely be telling generations to come about the lessons learned in 2020. What started with so much uncertainty has developed into just another challenging time in agriculture. The year 2020 is now part of our collective story. 

Speaking of collective stories … I’m also thankful for the response to my last column about farm trucks. 

In the October issue of the Iowa Soybean Review, I asked for your farm truck stories, and you certainly delivered. I laughed … and cried … reading your memories. I have been so moved by the amount of emotion, effort and details in your letters. If there is a common tie among all you farmers, farm pickups certainly would be it. 

“You have to understand,” muses Mechanicsville farmer Steve Kirkpatrick, “farm trucks are an extension of family to us.” 

Some letters were too long to be printed and just too darn good not to be shared. Therefore, we decided we are going to blow up social media with all your truck stories. The “Farm Truck Series” will run during November. Follow the Iowa Soybean Association on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to read all the cool stories. In case you aren’t “social,” we will also have them posted on our website at 

To say it was fun receiving your letters would be an understatement. I have a few follow-up stories I’m working on, so stayed tuned. But more than anything, please keep the conversation going. We have a lot to talk about within agriculture. I want you to keep turning to this page to see what’s being said and contribute to the narrative of our future while honoring the past. 

Randy Souder, who farms near Rockwell City, sent me a story about his truck experiences during the farm crisis, which prompted me to ask more questions. 

“We enjoyed the dialog,” says Randy Souder. “We have started some interesting conversations about the ‘80s and how that era shaped some of our business decisions and family life. I haven't thought much about those days recently.” 

If my columns have inspired you to think about things that are important to you, I consider that a great honor. The story of agriculture is so complex and compelling. For better or for worse, we are all in it together. 

Stay safe, my friends. I’m thankful for you. 

— Ann

Visit "The Truck Series" to read more letters to the editor from Iowa Soybean Review readers.

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