Procrastination is a four-letter word to some people.  I believe procrastination is simply reality.  We’re  pulled in so many different directions that it can be difficult to complete what you want and need to accomplish.  This blog posting is an excellent example – I wanted to get it up long before this week, but had an overflowing task list due to extensive travel.  And, of course, I think it needs to be perfect!

While I’m not advocating excuses, I encourage you to give yourself a bit of a break.  After all, there’s enough negative news about Wall St., Main St. and China’s streets.  Add declining commodity prices with sky-high input costs and it can give you all sorts of reasons to procrastinate.  And that will be furthered for many people who set often unattainable New Year’s resolutions. 

Take credit for what you have been able to accomplish and find ways to build upon that success.  Psychologist and writer said “Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing.”  Are you procrastinating because you want to be perfect, as I find myself frequently doing?

The same is true for positively positioning agriculture.  Don’t wait until you have a perfectly honed speaking skills or a detailed action plan to talk about what you do.  Don’t wait for all the right words to fly out of your mouth in flowery prose.  Don’t wait until your neighbors are upset, your state has a ballot referendum or consumers mandate how food is produced. Don’t wait until you think you have time or see a direct impact on your bottom line, as it will be too late then.

TODAY is the best day for you to take a proactive, not a perfect, stance to educate people about where their food comes from.  Have a conversation at a holiday gathering about what you’ve been doing on the farm and why.  Make an appointment to talk to your local paper about the economic impact agriculture has in your community.  Find a consumer in the grocery store and ask what they think about how food is produced, then give them a quick snippet of information about modern agriculture.  It’s not rocket science – educating people about the business of food production simply requires action. 

Your action is the perfect gift for all of us in agriculture this season.  May your Christmas be blessed!

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