By Julie Tomascik

You’re making a list. And checking it twice. But not for Christmas gifts.

It’s that time for New Year’s resolutions. Even for farmers and ranchers.

To build those fences. Save to buy that new tractor. And the age-old resolution—shed a few pounds.

But the New Year is more than just resolutions. It’s a time for reflection. On one heck of a year for Texas agriculture.

Farmers and ranchers faced extreme weather. Flooding, drought and now snow.

They’ve faced a weak economy. Working long hours for marginal returns.

And the threat of increased, and unnecessary, regulation looms on the horizon.

Yet despite these challenges, the New Year is a reminder of the good in agriculture. The opportunities. The progress. And the families who make it all possible.

Because no matter what challenges come their way, farmers and ranchers will face the uncertainty of 2016 with optimism. And a proven recipe for success—handfuls of faith and love, a pinch of passion and two heaping scoops of determination and work ethic.

Those are ingredients that work well in the field and in conversations. The ones you want to have over food, farming and animal welfare. And all across the Lone Star State, farmers and ranchers are pulling up a seat at the table. Ready to share. To answer your burning questions.

It’s a new year. A fresh start. But the foundation of agriculture remains strong. Carrying farmers and ranchers forward another year. Through highs and lows. To a bright future for Texas. And you and me.