Farmers are optimistic. In the face of all evidence to the contrary, we persist in thinking this year will be a good one.
If last year was a horribly wet and cold, with a record-setting late crop, we are certain this year will be better - assuming certain is defined as having enough confidence to invest thousands of dollars in seed, fertilizer and other inputs for next year, all before the late crop was out. And if this year came out early but yields were pretty darn disappointing, we are certain next year will be better. And again, there go the checks.
It's sort of like being the parent of small children. One of my very wise friends recently proclaimed – after the last of her four children reached age three – that she had survived the valley of the shadow of toddlerhood. It's so true. And yet, no matter how entrenched you are in parenting small people and regardless of how difficult the day or how much of it was spent with someone in time-out (sometimes even the kids!), you get up and do it all again the next day. Because tomorrow just has to be better.
Certainty. Optimism. Farmers are often accused of being complainers – which we often are – but it's a fascinating dichotomy that makes those same complainers some of the most optimistic folks in all of business.
Because we go out and do it all again. Over and over. The crop comes up. The calves are born. The baby pigs grow. We harvest whatever's there. A new year, and we do it all again.
The promise of a new day, a new spring, and a new chance. It's a powerful motivator. It's worth being grateful for.