April 19, 2019 | By Paul Bootsma
For those who know the Easter story, this weekend is a time of hope and encouragement. Christians around the world remember that Christ won the victory over evil. Those who place their trust in the message of Easter live their lives in response to this good news.
Springtime often changes our winter weariness to new life and anticipation of the new growth that we see around us. Trees and flowers come alive with colours of green. Crops are planted and fields change from the winter brown to full spring colours. Spring, like Easter, also is a time of hope and encouragement.
Nowhere are we promised that life will always be easy or without challenges. Farmers understand this very much. Just look at the past year: the weather has had various extremes, DON in corn reached levels never seen before in this region, prices fluctuated for many commodities and global trade has had many interruptions. More and more, we are recognizing that many farmers also deal with mental health concerns. Bad weather, crop failure and price fluctuations are age-old stresses that every farmer has faced, but today we’re experiencing pressure from new sources, such as opponents of normal farming practices.
Yet, at spring time we seem to have new energy and a positive outlook for the coming year. It seems when the ground emerges from the winter hibernation, it offers encouragement for another successful growing season. Thus, the old farmer adage of “There’s always next year.”
Part of the Easter message is that we care for one another, that we assist where there is a need. This is becoming more important as we realize how stressful our industry is becoming. We need to know how our neighbours and fellow industry members are doing. That first word of concern can be the opportunity that prevents serious consequences down the road.
As the preparations for another cropping year are beginning, let this Easter weekend be a time of relaxation and enjoyment before the busy season. Take time to communicate with neighbours and friends, asking how they are doing and whether they are ready for the season ahead. Ask if they are reaching their goals. There should be no distance too long to keep us from knowing our neighbours.
At Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario, we hope that the message of Easter may be of encouragement to each one of you during this new growing season. May it remind you that there is a higher purpose to all we do and that the blessings of the better day will help us carry on.
From the CFFO have a blessed Easter with friends and family.
Paul Bootsma is Field Services Manager for the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario. The CFFO Commentary represents the opinions of the writer and does not necessarily represent CFFO policy. The CFFO Commentary is heard weekly on CFCO Chatham, CKXFM Chatham, and CKNX Wingham. It is also archived on the CFFO website, www.christianfarmers.org. CFFO is supported by 4,000 family farmers across Ontario.