Reflections can help to make a better you 

Family preparing for Christmas time (Photo: iStock - gpointstudio)

Finding stories that are personal and make a difference might seem easy but they are not. Our staff recently undertook that challenge. Those stories are captured in this week’s cover story and inside. 

Each writer—Kylene Scott, Lacey Vilhauer, David Murray, Jennifer Theurer, and myself—had to think outside the box. The parameters were general. The stories could be something they were able to see for the first time, taking action for the future, changes that were profound, tackling a subject that was unfamiliar territory or coming across someone who had made a difference. 

In reading each of their stories it reminded me of times during 2023 I had a relatable experience to all the topics. As readers go through the stories, I hope they will take a look at the familiar and the path less traveled and become more optimistic as they look to 2024. 

The stories draw on perspective to help guide a person through the many challenges. In my own case my dad died in early 2023 and was a trusted resource. When I look at how farming and ranching has changed, I relied on him for his perspective. Now I hope the perspective he shared has built my knowledge base. If I am successful, Dad will continue to walk with me. 

We know that in 2024 we’ll all have new chapters in our personal lives. The context of the stories can help provide some inspiration into looking at obstacles in a new light. Working through next year will hopefully mean the incremental increase in interest rates—the story of the past several years for producers and consumers–will ease. 

Predictability in certain aspects of what we do can help lessen the pressure so when we do face unanticipated obstacles, we can navigate our way through. No one knows for sure what each year will bring, which opens a new adventure for our thought process. 

Elsewhere in this edition, readers will find a Christmas ad that features many employees who are our unsung heroes and provide the foundation for what we do at High Plains Journal. We value their contributions because they are the heartbeat of a successful publication. 

Upcoming U event

If you are looking for last-minute stocking stuffers consider purchasing an advance ticket to attend the upcoming Soil Health U event in Salina, Kansas, Jan. 17 to 18, 2024. Keynote speakers include Jeremy Brown, of Broadview Agriculture; and Christine Morgan, chief scientific officer of the Soil Health Institute. 

The planning team incorporates the latest information and questions that farmers and ranchers have as they evaluate their operation and plan ahead. Panel discussions will look at grazing, conserving water and a general panel about soil health offers opportunities for farmers and ranchers to hear from their peers. Those panel discussions are popular because panelists want to learn, too, and are willing to talk about what works and what does not. Those educational experiences are priceless. 

Additional information is available at  

Dave Bergmeier can be reached at 620-227-1822 or [email protected]