Not all for which we’re thankful can be measured in dollars and cents, but for those who think otherwise, this Thanksgiving will go down in recorded history as one of a record year.

With some crop still in the eld and feedlots waiting to be filled, we’ve never seen greater demand – nor more potential to ll that demand worldwide. Corn yields will surpass 200 bu./acre in some areas and meat prices $2.00/lb. When have we ever seen this combination come together?

Unfortunately, not all are still thankful, as they want their cake and eat it too, like record prices along with record yields. To them, one can only suggest that diversification – like that of our forefathers – was good market planning. Having all your eggs in one basket is not good market strategy when it comes to any kind of financial investment, especially in agriculture. And maybe it’s a good thing; it weeds out the investors from the farmers.

Farming as a way of life was not only a good thing for society, it was sound financial management. It wasn’t until diversification became defined as farming, Florida, and fairness that agriculture became an unstable investment. The idea that you could make a living working a half a year, while vacationing the other half soon turned into working the mailbox full time, looking for government handouts. The three F’s turned out to be a prescription for failure.

Today there is so much prosperity that if managed properly, there would be no need for government intervention. So the next time you give thanks, be thankful for all that agriculture has accomplished – affording you more opportunity than at any other time in history.

It’s time to turn Washington completely off and turn on your own God-given talents and abilities. The self-satisfaction of doing it on your own, without help from the government or anyone else, far exceeds any other agricultural reason for giving thanks.

Though there is some overhaul going on, most of the agricultural government programs are designed to entice the corrupt – not the farmer or rancher that is down on his luck and needs some help. For as many people who need help, there are just as many or more that are taking unfair advantage of the available agriculture programs. There are those that have mudded in just enough acres to qualify for disaster subsidy, and those that have culled their herds of the poorest producers in order to qualify for premium-priced subsidy payments. There are so many loopholes in our government entitlement programs that only the wealthiest of the wealthy can afford to take advantage of them. Only able to afford a business staff inclusive of accountants and lawyers can take advantage of all the government handouts.

If Washington is trying to figure out how to spend less money, maybe they should start with their entitlement programs. If there is this much waste in agriculture, imagine how much there must be in big business – especially the gas and oil industry. Most of the government gifts have only made things worse. Propping up ethanol is a good example, as it is an industry that is doomed to fail. The billions of dollars from Washington have only been a charade of false security that will eventually destroy more investors than it will help. This infinite wisdom of Washington caused more hardship for livestock producers than it should have. When the cost of production becomes higher than the original cost of the animal, Washington hasn’t done much to help!

If a farm or ranch business model is centered on the programs of government, then we are no longer in control of our own destiny. We’re farming the mailbox more than we are the land. When government payments are bigger than out marketing proceeds, we are simply becoming so dependent that we have lost our independence.

It’s time to get agriculture working competitively again and stand on its own mandated referendums, for which government has to comply instead of the other way around.

Washington need not be our caretaker, nor do we have to accept our current circumstances. We’ll take care of ourselves! Unlike farmers and ranchers who don’t have much of a title (but like what they do), politicians seem to want the title, but don’t know how to do the job. Let’s put ‘em down on the farm to see what it is really like to have to make economical, life-changing decisions every day!

If we stand up and fight, you and I can be the source of the solutions that will not only make us proud to be an American, but even prouder to be America’s source of food!

Give thanks that we may be looking to a greater tomorrow. The test for thankfulness is not what you have to be thankful for, but whether anyone else has reason to be thankful that you are here.

For more insightful stories written by Ken Knight read PONY TALES by PONTY

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