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!