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Today is the last day of the year and that of course means a time to review what we did, and make resolutions for where we’re headed. I’m one of the people who doesn’t do them — at least not usually — and this year is no different.

I resolve to do things as I go, often times finding out things along the way that I didn’t know needed done. I’m sure that some of you are the same way. I don’t usually plan my year out in terms of tidy little “to-do” lists. But I’ll admit that the end of a year, and beginning of a new year, offers some prime time for reflection.

Politics

First, the “fiscal cliff.” I am so tired of hearing about this and all the fears about what may or may not happen if we go over the so-called “cliff” (the date at which tax cuts would expire and rates would increase).

Nobody should be going over any cliff when they’ve had the last couple years to prepare and get something done. And I feel the same way about the farm bill. The bipartisan work that was put into the drafting of the bill — and the far-reaching public support of what was drafted — should have resulted in some formal Congressional action.

But it did not. And no one is really sure when such a bill might even be voted on, despite the fact we are recovering from one of the worst drought years on record, and that roughly three-fourths of the bill goes to support food and nutrition programming — not just farming.

I think a good resolution for Congress would be: “Get something done.” And along with that, pass a farm bill.

Precautions

Aside from the political arena — which has been a hot topic all year — we just came out of a very serious nationwide drought that will undoubtedly guide some resolutions in the new year.

I talked with several farmers this year — especially specialty crop growers — who are giving renewed attention to irrigation and ways they can implement irrigation on their farm.

We had a record wet year in 2011, followed by a record drought this year. It’s very encouraging how much of a crop most of our farmers still managed to plant and harvest, but it’s also been a humble reminder of the realities of farming — and the ever-changing patterns of weather.

Some of you are predicting a good year this year, based on the reasoning that we had a “wet” year, followed by a “dry” year, and so now we’re due for a “balanced” year.

I hope you’re right, but I know the extremities of the past two years will still have many farmers looking hard at securing their investments in 2013, and crop insurance will be king.

Hit songs

On the entertainment side, we had a number of farm-stars from across the country perform melodies on YouTube and Facebook. At the top were hits like Farm it Maybe by “Lil Fred,” I’m Farming and I Grow it by The Peterson Bros. and a local hit, The Grain Elevator, by Olentangy Orange Middle School student Spencer Channell.

I enjoyed reporting on these young entertainers, because they showed how agriculture can be fun, as well as entertaining.

What are your thoughts from the year we’re leaving behind? Do you have resolutions for 2013?

Chris Kick lives in Wooster, Ohio. An American FFA Degree recipient, he holds a bachelor’s in creative writing from Ashland University. He spends his free time on his grandparents’ farms in Wayne and Holmes counties.
Chris Kick
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