Give Thanks for all things

Carroll Smith
Carroll Smith

I was watching a college football game recently when a young player, who had not spent much scoring time in the end zone, made an amazing touchdown. He began celebrating in a fashion the official deemed “excessive” and was flagged for it. I could envision the announcer shaking his head as he said, and I paraphrase, “Son, act like you’ve been here before. Think of all the ‘greats’ who have made those same awesome plays, smiled, chest-bumped their fellow players and good-
naturedly tossed the ball back to the official.”

My interpretation of the announcer’s remarks is it’s OK to get excited during a successful moment. But don’t go overboard and forget to exercise humility and be grateful to the good Lord, other people and the circumstances that helped you get there. And when things don’t go your way, put them behind you and fearlessly move on to the next challenge.

Since November is a time for thanksgiving, among my many blessings, I am thankful for having the opportunity to work in the agriculture industry. Many folks who have farmed for a while will say they have just about seen it all and know how to “act like they’ve been there before.” Farmers are excellent at what they do, grateful and gracious when things go their way, and courageous when faced with adversity.

As the 2016 season draws to a close, a popular catch phrase making the rounds is “a year to remember” – both good and not-so-good. Fields blanketed in snow-like cotton, record-breaking yields, untimely historic floods and…Hurricane Matthew. Those who experienced Mother Nature’s benevolent side were thrilled with the outcome and gave thanks to everyone and everything that got them there. Comments about beautiful harvest photos posted to social media sites were full of compliments and congratulations from one farmer to another. Those who had to contend with floods and a hurricane bravely looked for ways to minimize the damage or accepted their losses and began developing a strategy for next season. Other producers, along with university and industry personnel, offered to help in any way they could.
That’s what ag folks do because we’ve been here before in good times and bad and know how to act. In the spirit of the Irish blessing, “May the rains fall soft upon your fields” in 2017.

If you have comments, please send them to: Cotton Farming Magazine, 7201 Eastern Ave., Germantown, TN, 38138. Contact Carroll Smith via email at

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