President's Column | Pulling Together, Moving ForwardPosted on Feb 21, 2022
As I traveled back home from the recent American Farm Bureau Federation annual convention, I felt such a sense of pride knowing we had been awarded the organization’s highest honor, the Pinnacle Award.
Each year this recognition goes to the state Farm Bureaus that demonstrated, throughout the year, outstanding achievements in the program areas of Advocacy, Coalitions & Partnerships, Engagement & Outreach, and Leadership & Business Development. Kentucky Farm Bureau was recognized for their top achievement in all categories.
What an accomplishment for our members, county leaders and our staff to have worked so diligently through a tough year to reach these goals and come home with this top award.
The efforts our volunteer members make for this organization and their respective communities is beyond comparison. They are the main reason we are successful.
And in thinking about their many contributions, my mind immediately went to those still recovering from the detrimental tornadoes that swept through our state last December.
The images of destruction were still fresh in my mind and I was reminded of the heartbreaking stories so many had to tell.
To be honest, it was a little disheartening to be so thrilled on one hand, and so concerned on the other.
But I quickly remembered how most folks I spoke to, who were impacted by these storms, were saying how blessed they were and how they planned to rebuild and carry on their farming traditions.
The human spirit can never be underestimated, and I saw that every place I visited, even from those who had lost everything.
I saw all of the volunteers who covered the affected areas coming to help with cleanup, or to bring food and donations, or to help in the rebuilding process because it was the right thing to do.
As quickly as the storms passed through, tearing down buildings, barns and fences, friends and neighbors from all parts of the state and the region were building back, just as quickly.
I saw a coming together of people from all walks of life and from different organizations for the sole purpose of helping these communities in their cleanup efforts and providing assistance wherever it was needed.
Where I expected to find folks who were ready to throw in the towel, I found families pulling together to move forward to a better day.
I found a sense of comradery that I had not seen in a while. I discovered the human spirit to be alive, and well, and more vibrant than ever.
Make no doubt about it, we are still grieving for those lost during this terrible ordeal, and I know we will continue to do so for some time to come. We continue to pray for those families, and we continue to offer our assistance to them in any way we can.
So, let us take this time to remember our loved ones, to make every effort to help those in need, and to look forward to a new day. It will come and we will forever remember this time of sadness and how it was filled with renewed hope for tomorrow.
Mark Haney, President
Kentucky Farm Bureau