This past year has been busy to say the least. I keep thinking (and hearing from other people) that you don’t have to get all your growing up done all in one year, but that seems to be what I’m accomplishing at this rate! So as 2013 comes to a close and I raise a glass of sparkling cider at 9pm (east coast New Year’s since I’m asleep by 9 every night…thank you baby in my tummy) I have a lot, and I mean a lot to be thankful for!
The year started out with a big thanks for all the support I received for being chosen as a finalist in the US Farmer & Rancher Alliance’s “Face of Farming & Ranching.” While I was sad to not get such a wonderful opportunity, I have seen what these four faces have done the past year and I couldn’t be more amazed at the hard work and dedication they have put in to make agriculture closer the fore front of people’s mind.
I also spent a fair amount of time at the Oregon Capital in Salem. I testified on a number of bills to help our farmers in my local area and statewide. Although we didn’t win all the battles, we did get some great legislation passed for Oregon Farmers. Just a few of these topics dealt with GMO production; how our state will handle this in the future and why we need to work together as farmers instead of against each other; and a land use issue about a new bypass that would devastate acres and acres of farmland that my neighbors have been farming for generations.
I received an award from DTN, Progressive Farmer & John Deere for being one of the America’s Top Young Farmers & Ranchers! Which included an awesome trip back to Chicago to meet with other farmers from across the country.
And on a more personal note I was lucky enough to marry the man of my dreams in June of this past year, and also share the news that we are also expecting our first little farmer kiddo in May 2014! (Yes, for those you doing math…it works!)
So I just have to say, that yes, farming is tough, brutal at times, stressful just about always, and at times soul testing; but for me I feel like I’m right where I need to be. Just chugging along into another year of challenges, another year of testifying for farmer’s rights to keep farming, another year of spreading the news of what we’re up to at Kirsch Family Farms, and another year of many more adventures yet to to be seen! I hope everyone has a wonderful start to what I just know is going to be another great year!