A personal note

I’m going to veer away from my usual musing of the swine industry this week. On Wednesday morning my wife had a seizure and we learned that her cancer has spread to her brain. The goal of the radiation regimen they began immediately is to slow the progression of the cancer. There is no hope of remission.

At the same time, the industry lost a wonderful producer and agriculture and community supporter with the death of Karl Duncanson of Mapleton, MN in a vehicle accident on Monday. Karl was 57 and always a joy to be around and work with. His impact can be noted by the fact the funeral is scheduled for this afternoon in the high school gymnasium.

Events this week reminded me (more like hit me with a baseball bat) that our work habits need to include time-outs to be with family and friends and to give back to those around us. Agriculture values people who work hard (and often work long hours). In previous generations this meant success as agriculture was built on physical labor and more labor meant more food, etc.

Agriculture has come a long way. Today we have labor saving devices, even in animal ag, that mean the return for more hours of labor isn’t always more food, etc. that is essential to survival. Yet agriculture tends to value long hours as one of the measures of success in many if not most rural communities.

If you and your family members work long hours, be sure and take some time this summer for non-work related activities. The suddenness of tragedy and cancer will always make you glad you took the time-off from your labors!

3 thoughts on “A personal note

  1. Well said Mike. We in agriculture forget our life cycle is limited like crops or livestock. We must enjoy the time we have with family and friends. I am sorry to hear about your wife’s illness. Karl Duncanson was a customer and friend of mine for 25 years. He will truly be missed in our community.

  2. Mike: So sorry to read about your wife and did not know the gentleman who was in the accident, but your writings this week strike a nerve with many of us, young and old.

  3. Mike: So sorry for your loss. My stock line at these times is ‘life isn’t fair” and it isn’t. From all of us here at Bell Farms Ag LLC, please accept our sincere expressions of sympathy. Irv

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