Let’s Be Positive, Folks

There’s assuredly no shortage of bad news across wires these days. TV, radio, blogs, friends at the PTA meeting and waitresses at the lunch counter — there’s no escaping the negative chatter. The high-altitude talk of recession and economic woe sweeps you up so high and with such frequency that it’s hard to stay focused on the ground, and to stay positive.

I’ve been as guilty as anyone of wallowing in the negative, but after spending a few days last week with folks in the ag community at the Commodity Classic, where a near record number of growers gathered to get the scoop on what’s new in agriculture this year, I decided that I have had enough. I’m going to stay focused and positive on the future, and project this optimism as much as I can.

The rhetoric going around is urging Americans to hunker down and be overly cautious given the current market conditions. While I would never advocate being careless, I think we do the industry, and the economy, a disservice by playing it too conservatively. The industries that are doing well relative to the general economy have, I would argue, an obligation to go as “full out” as possible — to drive consumption and show the way forward. Cowering in a corner is only going to keep us on a downward spiral.

Agriculture’s fundamentals continue to be sound … I believe we need to put irrational fears aside and do what’s necessary to be the best we can be.

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