It’s really dark out here. We have been blessed with clear skies since the beet harvest season started. There is no moon, so the stars are beautiful. But when I shut off the pickup headlights, man, is it dark out here!
I could easily describe how dark it is with a saying my Dad had — but I shouldn’t print it. That reminds me: I need to schedule a colonoscopy this winter.
The daytime temps have been too high, so we can only harvest at night when things cool down. I am headed out to the topper tractor, so I am the first in our field. I must be just ahead of my neighbors, because I don’t see any of the bright spots in
the area that really light up when all those tractors and trucks get rolling.
The tractor easily comes to life, and I sit in the glow of the dash lights, waiting for the temp gage to move — and thinking. It is amazing how fast things flash through my mind. I don’t spend but a second on the night’s work; I have a great crew back who all know their jobs. Instead, my mind jumps to other parts of the country and all the friends I have made in this small world of sugar.
I think of fishing in Idaho with Jeff in that little river so full of rainbows there was hardly any room for the water. I recall going with Tom to his grandson’s basketball game in Michigan after speaking at the Michigan annual meeting. Sitting in the gallery of the U.S. House with Mike, watching a successful vote on the farm bill we had lobbied so hard for, marching the halls with Luther, meeting the cane growers with Mark . . . all moments to remember.
I turn on the radio just in time to catch John Denver singing, “But more than anything else I’m sorry for myself, cause you’re not here with me.” This brings a sad moment at thoughts of those who aren’t here with me anymore. I think I’ll go to the ASGA meeting this winter to see old friends. It’s been awhile. We need each other in this small world of sugar.
I hope you had a great harvest. Happy Holidays — David
Write Field column is written by David Kragnes. David farms near Felton, MN. He is a former Chairman of American Crystal Sugar Co., and currently serves on the board of directors of CoBank.