Prime time in the numbers

Numbers are everywhere. As calendar digits march toward the 2021 finish line, we gear up for the next 365. We watch them countdown and celebrate with confetti. Even though they surround us, it is imperative we believe our own prime, our best, has no magic number.

“Dad, am I in my prime?” A question my 11-year-old son recently asked me. Although from left field, it is seemingly short and direct, but certainly not simple to answer. The dictionary defines “prime” as active and in good health. Sure, it could be about the number of candles on your cake, but only if prime was merely about muscles or vocabulary, skill or strength. Instead, it should be about vitality and vigor. A drive to improve. Growth and success from the day before. No matter how it settles, outcomes should be measurable, and numbers will prevail.

This year you have endured many references to my beloved game. Life, our finances and certainly baseball are all about numbers. This year, I have been blessed to visit with many producers across the High Plains. Our conversations have taken many paths. Sometimes it is about family or markets and other times it is about production agriculture and how challenging it can be to identify even the right seed population or target gain on cattle for their program. There is a real magic in these numbers, and I believe they tell a bigger story and have a deeper meaning. For fun, here are a few of my favorite legendary hardball figures. They illustrate some of the same prime qualities High Plains farmers and ranchers live by and why the year 2021 will always be just another number.

• Commitment. 2,131 – Cal Ripken played in 2,131 straight games. A will to work, every day.

• Determination. 42 – Jackie Robinson is recognized by all 30 MLB teams. Overcome adversity.

• Longevity. 755 – Henry “Hank” Aaron became the home run king. Tradition matters.

• Consistency. 56 – Joe DiMaggio’s consecutive game hit-streak still stands. Be reliable.

The new year marks a time for our company to reflect, reaffirm objectives, and breakdown the numbers. We are set to enter year 73 as an organization and like you, we are in our prime. In 2021, High Plains Journal:

• Printed 3,500 plus pages of agriculture content in 52 issues.

• Distributed more than 6.5 million e-newsletters to producers and agri-businesses.

• Attended and covered nearly 50 farm shows and facilitated eight educational events of our own.

• Delivered more than 50 million digital impressions for our agri-business partners.

• Shared 35 weeks of harvest coverage including over 8 million impressions.

2022 is an opportunity to leverage market longevity and our commitment to serve essential markets. Determined to improve, be relevant and grow. And to do it consistently. There will be challenges, but I trust the strength in numbers. A team of 68,000 readers and a staff of 35 members, High Plains Journal will continue to define the magic in numbers one page at a time.

Cheers! It is your time to be prime.

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