Thank a farmer

You have to tip your hat to farmers. They provide us with the nourishment in the form of food every year -- despite abysmal growing conditions at times.

Well, that's most times in northwest Kansas.

The region has been decimated by an ongoing drought. The recent rains, while providing a much-needed soaking and a gracious sigh of relief from just about everyone, will be forgotten quickly when conditions turn hot and dry again.

While we are keeping our fingers crossed and saying our prayers conditions won't regress, we also have to be cognizant of what Mother Nature has in store for us.

We live in the Sunflower State of the Great Plains. We are at the mercy of the weather, whether it be ideal conditions, lingering drought, frigid temperatures or conditions hot enough to fry on egg on your forehead. We see it all in the Plains.

As the saying goes: "If you don't like the weather, just wait 'til tomorrow."

As the annual rite of summer we call harvest gets into motion in northwest Kansas, we pause to say thanks to the thousands providing us with so much.

The long hours from dusk until dawn -- and beyond -- easily are forgotten as we pull out a few slices of bread to make our noon-time sandwich. We take for granted the time, effort and prayers that went into the crop a farmer grew to provide us with sustenence.

We easily become unnerved as we are forced to wait for a large combine taking its time moving down the road and holding up our progress to get to our destination.

Then there's the multitude of people buying groceries, pop, ice, etc., to provide food and drink to those toiling away in the fields as the grain dust whips around in the Kansas wind who never get a simple "thank you" for giving back to the community in which they raise their crops.

It's easy to forget about the farmer at times. It's easy to get annoyed when you're running late and can't get around that big ol' semi holding up traffic as it heads to town with a load of wheat.

All too often, though, we worry more about the inconveniences than the conveniences farmers provide us with.

This harvest, take the time to thank a farmer. Give them a simple "thanks," head bob or wave when passing.

It's the least we can do for our providers of so many things.

Editorial by Nick Schwien

nschwien@dailynews.net