Literacy, Legislation and Life: 2013 Recap

As 2014 begins, like many I took a few moments to review the past year’s highs, lows and interesting points for not only my personal life, but in agriculture as well. Below are those that stick out in my mind –

AGRICULTURE LITERACY

Best – Ram truck’s two-minute commercial, which aired during the Super Bowl, paid tribute to American farmers with a montage of agricultural photos accompanied by a voice-over of the late radio host Paul Harvey reading his essay “So God Made a Farmer.”

Worst – Chipotle released a marketing video that shows a scarecrow getting a job at a food factory with false images and insinuations about how farm animals are treated. The scarecrow eventually returns to the farm and makes his own food using fresh vegetables.

It still saddens me that Chipotle stands behind their ad as true despite ag industry efforts to open a conversation. This is one that I’m sure will continue into 2014 with Chipotle in the conversation or not. However, the tribute Ram paid to farmers and ranchers received more views and showcases the truth behind those who raise our food.

LEGISLATION

Best – A defeat of a Nebraska legislation that would have put new sales taxes on agriculture related inputs like machinery, equipment and fertilizer.

Worst – The wait for a farm bill is still ongoing…

Hopes are high for a new 5-year farm bill soon, but like most farmers or ranchers that are affected by the bill I’m not holding my breath. Yet, the ability of farmers and ranchers across Nebraska to stand together to have their voice heard on taxes was nothing short of impressive!

LIFE

Best – 2013 was a year full of excitement! I was blessed to celebrate many weddings, births and occasions with family and friends near and far! I also got to put a shiny ring on my left hand and start looking forward to forever with my now fiancé. J

Worst – Wedding planning has been fun, but the devil truly is in the details. I’m ready for the big day!

After reviewing 2013, my new year’s resolution has been confirmed – to showcase more positive things that I see this year both personally and in the agriculture! The family working 24/7 on their farm but stops to help their neighbor, or the rancher who stayed up all night to save one calf – these are all great stories that often get missed!

— Kassi Williams, farmer’s daughter

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