Keep those ugly sweaters on the shelf

Lights, wish lists and Black Friday need a timeout. It is time for the pumpkin not the tree. A time for togetherness and gratitude. Time during the holidays permits us to slow down and focus on how we will use our blessings. It will always speak louder than the words we say about them.

I love Thanksgiving. Many reasons come to mind, but primarily because the world seems to skip right past it and concentrate on December before it is even here. Thanksgiving is a blessed feast, and like clockwork, it is the last Thursday in November. That sounds a little like the virtue we desire on our own farms or ranches every day. Predictable and plentiful.

This holiday represents what I care most about and is reflective of the type of person and professional I strive to be. Some of my favorite guiding principles are adages synonymous with Thanksgiving:

• “Tip my cap.”

• “Actions speak louder than words.”

• “Treat others the way you want to be.”

If you witness greatness, you tip your cap. Whether it is a clean sorghum field, an abundant calf crop, or a diving play on the athletic field. A sign of appreciation you are thankful to be a part of, not envy. Forever, it has been engrained to “show and tell,” but really our beliefs should be in what we do, our actions, not what we say. Lastly, there is some of us in everyone. Although, I cannot dunk a basketball or rope a steer, there is something that connects me with those that can. So be respectful.

At High Plains Journal, this is what we call Agriculture Cares—a program designed to recognize people that go above and beyond to improve their community, their country and the world. We believe that a faith in one another can build a vibrant and thriving industry dedicated to helping thy neighbor. You are an extension of our family and Agriculture Cares is our professional version of Thanksgiving. This is how we will use our blessings.

Through the end of the year, High Plains Journal will recognize two special ag partners, Farmer Veteran Coalition and National Agriculture in the Classroom, by contributing 25% of subscription revenue to state programs affiliated with these organizations. FVC is a national nonprofit non-governmental organization in the United States that mobilizes veterans to feed America and help them to transition from military service to a career in agriculture. More information is available at National Ag in the Classroom provides K-12 educators with engaging resources to increase agricultural literacy among their students. You can learn more about it at

Together our contributions can be meaningful, have purpose and work to strengthen our rural communities. Thank you for all you do. I “tip my hat.” The future of High Plains agriculture is in good hands because it depends on all of us. We are a team and a family that recognizes how to use our blessing to impact our industry’s future. Visit to learn more.

It’s turkey time!

Zac Stuckey can be reached at 620-227-1833 or [email protected].