Four degrees above zero
but the cars and pickups are rolling in
It’s a hardy bunch, these farm folks!
Not to be dissuaded by some bitter cold
Plenty of smiles at the check in desk
plenty of ‘Good to see you’ words being spoken
as the coat room fills to overflowing
The president gets the nod
taps on the mike
and the evening begins
“Welcome to the One Hundred Second Annual Meeting
of the Champaign County Farm Bureau”
and the faces of three hundred turn to see
A very spry eighty year old makes his way
looks out on the audience
He’s a veteran of decades of teaching math
helping others
and now the Prime Timer chairman
“Let’s pray.”
The clear voice fills the room
giving thanks
asking guidance
praying for those in the military
asking a blessing on the food
and those who prepared it for us
“Let’s eat!”
A fine beef meal served
dessert and coffee finishing up
the meeting begins afresh
Switching from an eighty year old
to high school students
the Blue Coats parade the flags
Young men and women of the FFA
Shining examples of our youth
and the best America grows
The Young Ag Leader leads (of course!)
“I pledge allegiance…”
“One nation under God’
No apologies here, just recognition
of how small we are
and how big God is
All ages coming forth
to report, inform, about the business
“Smooth”, some said after
‘Best ever”, said others.
“We loved the speaker”, said others.
Katie Pratt, young farmer,
spouse, mother, advocate, educator
stepping up to the plate
from New York City to Hawaii
telling it like it really is,
the real story of American agriculture.
The program closes
and many slip away
but many stay to visit
enjoying each other, no rush
A pleasant time
this event
to be remembered, savored
Selah, Lin January 2014