The catch phrase for the New Year seems to be “come alive in 2005.” When I look back at 2004, that phrase takes on a little different meaning. 2003 was to many in our industry a near death experience, with 2004 allowing most to regain health. 2005 looks like it will help to return most farms to vibrancy. I wonder how much of this optimistic future we can attribute to CWT. I still believe that the greatest benefit of CWT is that it has provided an avenue for our industry to agree on something. “Less government in business and more business in government.” A quote from Warren G. Harding applies to what has come about through CWT. We as an industry have and are attempting to take care of our own business.
Along with the new year also come new challenges. Our state is now one of many who have producers faced with intent to sue notices. Most of us, again like many states, are battling wetter than normal conditions and the legislature reconvenes within days.
Over the holidays our family spent a few days in Washington, D.C. We had the privilege to tour the White House. We are grateful to Congressman Steve Pearce for his help in getting us a tour. While inside we came across a portrait of President Taft. Most of you probably know that he was a rather large man, and how it is reported that at one time he was stuck in the tub so they now have an oversized tub in the White House. He once became uncomfortable at a baseball game and when he stood to stretch it was assumed he was leaving, with the game pausing out of respect. However, when Taft had moved around a bit and was again comfortable he returned to his seat and thus the baseball 7th inning stretch. I share these tidbits of information about President Taft because although history has not presented him as all that popular of a president, he said the following which I think greatly fits with our current times. “Next to the right of liberty, the right of property is the most important individual right guaranteed by the Constitution and the one which, united with that of personal liberty, has contributed more to the growth of civilization than any other institution established by the human race.” As we deal with increasing public pressure about such issues as water, animal rights, and the environment we must remember that we do have rights but we must also be aware of the rights of others. May you have a safe and blessed New Year.