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As you read this week’s edition of High Plains Journal we share in our appreciation of what farmers and ranchers mean to us and encourage you to take time say thanks to your employees, which is fitting because it is Labor Day.

Farm employees, regardless if they are family or are hired help, are crucial to an operation’s bottom line. In the macro-economic sense, they are vital to feeding this nation and a troubled world.

Farm work has changed and so has the requirement for employees. Many of today’s operations require an understanding of computers and technologies that did not exist 10 years ago. For livestock operators, a continued commitment to animal care is necessary not only for efficiency but also to ward off activists who fail to understand the premium stewardship that is a necessary investment to being successful.

Labor Day 2019, removing the politics and economic pressures that are enough to weigh anyone down, is at least one day to put aside the filtered noise that seems to fill up email boxes or dominate the cable news industry, and focus on families and our communities as many small towns have festivals to promote their heritage that is tied to agriculture. This year, there is a definite need to appreciate our roots.

Sure the chores will continue to go on, from feeding livestock to preparing the soil to plant wheat or to cut high moisture corn or preparation of the regular fall harvest crops, Labor Day weekend still means a significant amount of work has to be accomplished.

The conclusion of the Labor Day weekend also means fall is near and that does mean a busier time than even in the summer. Many farmers have said in the High Plains the change of cropping operations, more dryland corn and soybean production because of the wonder of modern technology that can be embedded in seed, has meant fall has become the busiest season with summer now in second place.

That is going to mean added work for equipment dealers who sell parts and provide service to keep combines moving, fuel and propane dealers and elevators. Throughout the agriculture chain the post-Labor Day period is on in which all of us can marvel as crops move from fields to storage and cattle are moved from large pastures to more confined areas in preparation pre-winter activities that can include fall calving.

Just like in your operation, High Plains Journal depends upon highly skilled professionals who quietly go about their business but their work should not go unnoticed and is very much appreciated internally by the HPJ family and our family of readers. Like yours, their workweeks can be quite long, too, measured in terms of quality of work rather than a government defined 40-hour work week. Regardless of where one lands in the hierarchy of production agriculture or covering the industry, Labor Day can be summed up with two words, “Thank you.” Take the time to express that sentiment.

Dave Bergmeier can be reached at 620-227-1822 or dbergmeier@hpj.com.

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