In much of the country, it's a little hard to think that it's mid-December. I'm in the center of the Midwest, and during a quick Christmas-buying run I saw fellow shoppers in shorts, slogan T-shirts, I think I even heard a pair of flip-flops against the hard tile floor of the local mall.
But mild weather aside, 'tis the season. And that means it's also the time when we reflect back on the stories that influenced us in agriculture the most during the past year. This week we'll start that series, from the least to the most influential, revealing one daily for two weeks. No. 10 will be on Dec. 18, and the No. 1 story of the year on Dec. 29. On Dec. 31, we'll run the runners-up stories for the year.
Honestly, this process of ranking those Top 10 ag stories was as tough this year as any I can recall. Not that there weren't critical events, surprises, wins and disappointments. There just wasn't the usual major handful of things that obviously everyone was talking about.
On the surface, it was a relatively quiet year in agriculture. Perhaps too quiet.
So, if there's a theme of sorts to this year's Top 10, I'd call that theme "Things We Should Be Discussing, But Probably Aren't."
I'm not going to spoil things by making the case for those stories directly here. I'll save that for a later column when the tally is all in. But if you find yourself looking at the headlines in this year's lineup and saying "what, that was no big thing," then I challenge you to rethink that. Read the story. Think about the context in which our world finds itself in when that thing happened, and where we are now, where we might be in six months. Twelve months. Maybe even do a little internet searching on the subject. Stay away from the one-sided social media commentary, or if you must, maybe venture over into the comments you typically disagree with.
Just don't let your research spoil the Christmas dinner. Spice it up a bit? Maybe.
I hope you'll not only enjoy the path down memory lane but also get a little something out of this year's Top 10 ag stories.
We're also running a collection of what our reporters and editors chose as their personal favorite piece of the year. There's some fun reading in those, too.
Enjoy, be safe, and as always, let us know how we can do better.
Greg D. Horstmeier can be reached at email@example.com
Follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter, @greghorstmeier
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