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Photo by Josh Gackle, Special to Agweek

GACKLE: Harvest and thanks

KULM, N.D. — We've reached a couple of milestones in our corner of southeast North Dakota. To keep readers updated as I have through the fall season, harvest on Gackle Farms and most others in our part of the state has come to an end. Most likely, by the time you read this, the corn harvest will be 100 percent complete for all of our neighbors, as well.

As I've said before, it was a bountiful harvest and we are indeed thankful.

If you remember from my column a couple of weeks ago, the towns of Ellendale, Edgeley and Kulm were getting ready to travel to the Fargodome to watch our local high school football team compete in the state championship. Before the game, our communities came together to celebrate a successful season, and afterward had a reason to celebrate even more with a 42-20 win in the championship game.

Congratulations to all the students, players, coaches, parents and fans from both teams that worked so hard during a successful season.

Now that harvest has ended, on the farm we find ourselves busy trying to wrap up all those end-of-year tasks.

Reading through my twitter timeline, I came across a quote from Abraham Lincoln from his proclamation for a Thanksgiving holiday in 1863. Paraphrased slightly, he says our bounties are "so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come." What are those things, places and people in our lives as farmers and ranchers that we so easily forget? We rely on our faith, family and friends to help us through the stressful and busy times of the year. We often take these things for granted.

In future columns, I hope to expand on the people, places and things we as farmers and ranchers can be thankful for. Though the holiday is behind us, Thanksgiving is a reminder to appreciate around us every day:

The neighbor who helps fix your flat tire or harvest your last field of soybeans. The veterinarian who meets you late at night to help with the sick calf. The mother, wife or sister that brings supper out to the field during a long and busy day. The parts man or technician that gets your tractor or combine back in the field. The pastor at your local church who offers encouraging words during a time of loss and anxiety. The grain elevator employee who stays well past close to unload your last truck. The fuel delivery driver that makes frequent and timely trips.

The list can go on and on.

During this season of thanksgiving and reflection, I thank you for what you do for your communities, families, friends and neighbors.

Editor's note: Gackle is a third-generation farmer in Kulm, N.D., and former staffer for Gov. Tim Pawlenty. He can be reached at gacklej@yahoo.com.

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