If I had to put a face on the pandemic, it would be a big, green, ugly Grinch with a furrowed brow and villainous eyes. Two years ago, it sneaked into the lives of people around the world and took away so many things we hold dear to our hearts — even those of the mundane everyday kind. It caught us off guard.
Our first reaction was to retreat and contemplate what had happened. As the days and months and eventually years went by, we found ways to adapt in our personal and business lives. It was awkward, but it was doable.
Then we began to realize the one thing the greedy Grinch couldn’t get his hands on was the resilience of the human spirit. “Necessity is the mother of invention,” moved up in status from “old cliché” to a motivating force with which to be reckoned.
It comes as no surprise that the concept aptly describes the agricultural world. This community of innovators is always up for a challenge. Examples of their creative spirit are sprinkled throughout this issue of Cotton Farming. As Missouri cotton farmer Allen Below told me during our interview, “A farmer and a ginner can always come up with some kind of contraption!”
This year, he bought a new John Deere CP770 harvester and was running it through his fields for the first time. In “Pickin’ And Ginnin’” on page 12, Below and his picker operator, Josh Morgan, discuss different aspects of the newly designed machine. But being a ginner as well as a farmer, Below has already turned his thoughts to how the bigger, denser round bales can be transported and then handled efficiently at the gin. He is formulating ideas to make sure everything goes smoothly once the cotton leaves the field.
Although Below was contemplating mechanical situations, the same holds true to developing solutions for something intangible. For example, the Grinchiness of the pandemic is still evident in agricultural supply chain issues. On page 9, Gary Adams, National Cotton Council president and CEO, talks about the organization’s efforts to find “remedies to an economically debilitating supply chain situation.”
The NCC’s recommendations to the Biden administration are not just vague ramblings, they contain specific ideas to bring relief.
I challenge you as members of the agricultural community to keep fighting the good fight to overcome the hopefully temporary adversity we are facing. As we are about to embark on a new year, it’s time to say goodbye to the Grinch.
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