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Don’t let these dry times dampen the giving spirit

As my wife, Pam, and I traveled home from Thanksgiving with our family last week, I found it was a good time to look back at the last year.

Droughts, fires and economic struggles have made 2012 a challenging year for La Plata County and many areas of our country. Our La Plata Farms has struggled like many farms in Southwest Colorado. The drought is limiting our irrigation water supply for our hay, and creating a shortage of pasture grass for our sheep. Many of our fall lambs were smaller than in past years, and the prices were down, but they are now all sold and delivered to our customers.

Even with the struggles of this past year we have a lot to be thankful for every day. Being involved in agriculture, we have made many friends – from our neighbor next door who helps us when we need another pair of hands, to the friends we only see once a year at a meeting in another state.

I am thankful for the food that we produce and the vast bounty of food that the farmers and ranchers from across this county provide to us and the people of the world. The vast variety of food that lines the shelves of our grocery stores and is prepared today for our Thanksgiving feast is testament to the hard work of our farmers and ranchers.

I am also thankful for Pam, my partner and friend who has stood beside me for 35 years, knowing when to step in and help and when it is best to leave me alone to work through a problem. And for our children, Cassie and Travis, who in spite of my guidance have grown up to be smart and hard-working and are enjoying their lives.

I hope that you also took a little time to think of all the special things that we have to be thankful for – family, friends and the many little things that we often overlook.

Now, as we move on toward the Christmas season, please take a moment as you push your cart down the aisles of the grocery store to pick up a few extra items for those who can use a helping hand. Whether it is only a can of vegetables or sponsoring a family’s Christmas dinner, help support our local food banks or Project Merry Christmas by sharing some of the bounty that our agricultural producers provide.

Doug Ramsey has farmed in La Plata County for more than 30 years. He can be reached at 385-4375.

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