Sept. 7 is the national observation of Labor Day and farmers and ranchers, suppliers and the marketplace itself have seen changes that no one could have foreseen in comparison to Labor Day 2019.
In 2020 the undeniable impact of COVID-19 has rippled through all circles and if there is ever a time to be thankful for the importance of the contributions of employees, whether full time or seasonal, it should not go unnoticed. The willingness of workers to ensure the timely delivery of crops and services came about under the leadership of organizations who listened and provided adaptive technology or directives to allow people to work at home.
High Plains Journal employees have children in schools that were shutdown in March and then adapted to a virtual format to finish the spring semester. That meant balancing needs of the family and employer. This fits the legacy of Labor Day.
The roots of Labor Day started at the local level with municipal ordinances passed in the mid 1880s and that spread quickly as the movements began getting states to approve the Labor Day holiday, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Congress established the holiday in 1894.
The U.S. Department of Labor, the federal institution that oversees labor regulations, was established in 1913. Labor Day, which is celebrated the first Monday in September, was a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the economic achievements of American workers, according to the agency’s website.
In the industry we serve we understand the importance of what labor means and one of the beauties of the High Plains is that employees also can adjust to the demands of the workforce. Many wheat farmers and their employees are planting a crop for the 2021 harvest. Corn harvest in certain areas is ongoing and all the support services and all hands are on deck particularly in regions where work is overlapping. Livestock are tended to and farmers and ranchers provide the driving force on stewardship.
As 2020 has unfolded the new normal is not one anyone could have expected. COVID-19 disrupted the food chain, particularly the meat processing workers and that undeniably impacted those workers and their families and the American consumer. The backbone of the economy is consumers who work hard to provide for their family.
Labor Day is a time to enjoy family and friends as reunions are often tied with trips to the lake and community centers. Those events are gladly welcomed by families because they need a time to recharge and to be thankful for what is important in life and this year certainly has enlightened all of us.
We hope Labor Day provides a brief respite in an unforgettable 2020. For HPJ, it is also a time to thank our employees for going the extra mile to serve an industry they dearly love.
Dave Bergmeier can be reached at 620-227-1822 or [email protected].