The calendar year has almost come to an end. For me, this time each year is both reflective and forward thinking.
I seem to contemplate experiences from not only the latest year but all the years I have lived to this date. The older I get, I seem to realize these experiences have made a beautiful patchwork quilt of what I like to call life. After contemplating the past, my mind moves to the future. I seek to explore the aspects of my life in which I can continue to grow in the coming year.
Personally, I always look to core principles of honesty, simplicity, patience and compassion as tools I can fine-tune. Professionally, I naturally seem to plan and organize future opportunities for a diversity of people to engage in educational learning and positive community development activities.
As the 4-H and youth development agent for La Plata County Extension, I am grateful for the support and encouragement our community gives to our youths. It inspires and motivates me to serve the residents of La Plata County to the best of my ability.
I am often frustrated at the current political, economic and social climate facing our world today. Many Americans seem to be divided on a variety of concerns facing our society, however, I feel most Americans will come together for the belief that we can work together for a greater society for our children.
This belief reminds me of a saying: Kopano ea sechaba ka temo that was told to me by an African elder while I served my country in the Peace Corps in Lesotho. It translates into unity of community through agriculture.
Unity of community through agriculture is a theme that provides me with perspective to help guide and advise the 4-H and youth development programs in our area. Although our programs relate to a variety of different disciplines, they are all rooted in agriculture. Agriculture links all of us through the food, fuel, fiber and energy that it creates. While providing our youths with the leadership and life skills that promote sustainable agriculture, we instill in them the proper tools to unite others to solve practical problems in our society.
A strong agriculture community unites everyone to seek solutions to health and human wellness, economic stability, environmental and social justice issues.
Many of the farmers and ranchers I have met in La Plata County take great pride in the people, animals and land that they serve. It is our responsibility as concerned residents to take this pride and work together for a more prosperous community.
As I have looked to the past and future, I realize the time is now. Its all we have.
The choices that we make now will ultimately affect our lives in the future. I make the choice to unite my community on the benefits of local agriculture now.
Thanks for letting me serve the people of La Plata County. See you in 2012.
firstname.lastname@example.org or 382-6463. Greg Felsen is La Plata County 4-H youth development agent.