For the past month, I’ve been hearing the word “resilient” used a lot to describe how farmers are dealing with problems in every region of the country. No matter where I go, I keep hearing this word used by anyone involved in agriculture but particularly in the cotton industry. It’s a remarkable word. The dictionary defines “resilient” with the following words: “Capable of withstanding shock without permanent deformation or rupture. Tending to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.”
That pretty well sums it up. Wherever you might travel right now in the Cotton Belt, you’ll find a lot of resilient folks trying to get a crop planted. They are being confronted by a multitude of challenges, and the clock is ticking as they wait for some timely rain in the Southwest, warmer and drier conditions in the Mid-South and Southeast and access to much needed water allocations in the West.
On page 6 of this month’s issue, you’ll even find the word “resilient” in the headline of a story that reviews the Texas Cotton Ginners Association’s Annual Meeting and Trade Show last month in Lubbock. Our friends in Texas might be the most resilient group out there. The state is in the third year of a serious drought, but, as Texas cotton producers and ginners like to say, “things are better than they were last year, but we still need some rain.” Wherever I went in Lubbock, I didn’t hear any complaining. Instead, I observed a quiet confidence that things will work out. Everyone is going about his business and looking ahead with optimism.
As I have said many times in the past, farmers are like modern-day soldiers. They have a focused approach to the task at hand, and nothing usually deters them from achieving their goals. No amount of adversity will cause that “can-do attitude” to change.
Would you like another example of a Texas producer showing resilience? Check out the My Turn column on page 22. It was written by producer Doug Wilde of San Angelo. Instead of hearing a litany of complaints about how it hasn’t rained enough in his part of the state, he takes another approach. He talks about everything he is trying to do to deliver quality cotton to his customers – while preserving the environment.
This is the definition of resilience for a farmer. The glass is never half empty. It’s always half full, and it’s being thankful for the way of life a farmer enjoys and the effort he makes to protect the land. The next time one of our city friends drives down the highway and sees a tractor going through a field, he should be thankful that farmers are always resilient enough to weather any storm that comes their way.
If you have comments, send them to: Editor, Cotton Farming Magazine, 1010 June Road, Suite 102, Memphis, Tenn., 38119. Or send e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.