This article was initially published as part of the Our Rural Roots column for Progressive Farmer.
As I write this, the wind is blowing at sustained speeds of 45 miles per hour with gusts even higher. The sky is brown from all the dust in the air. Stubble from the sorghum field north of our house is currently piled up like snow drifts in the yard. We have not seen measurable rainfall—actually, any rainfall—for months. Grass fires seem to pop up with more frequency. It is easy on these days to feel defeated and to want to throw in the towel.
And yet, hope remains. We see it all around. We see it in the excitement we feel as we prepare for calving season to start in the next two weeks. We see it as the farmers and ranchers spend a cold January day at an Extension meeting getting their CEU credits and learning about the variety trial results from last year. We see hope when farmers are buying seed on Friday and praying for rain every Sunday in our in tiny little church. We see it when generations work together like grandfathers teaching their grandsons how to drive a tractor or granddaughters to band a lamb’s tail.
It is near impossible not to hope when the weatherman says that each day it does not rain just gets us one day closer to the next big rainstorm.
If there is one thing farmers and ranchers must do well, it’s hope. It is as much a part of our DNA as the dirt beneath our nails and the working sunup to sun down. We believe better days will come, and when they do, we will be ready with our seed selected, rain gauges in place, and caving book ready for entries. Here’s hoping for better days, greener pastures, and rain in the forecast.