By Julie Tomascik

New Year’s resolutions. We all make them. And we love to break them!

It’s easy to make the list, but how many of us actually stick to them?

And what does a list of New Year’s resolutions look like for farmers and ranchers anyway?

Here’s the top 7 items on our list…

7. Incorporate technology. Work smarter, not harder. It’s how you like to work, right? And it’s how farmers and ranchers like to work, too. Drones, GMOs, GPS and smartphone apps help farmers do more with less. And grow a safe, affordable food supply.

6. Take the mud boots off outside. Not in the house. Because mud doesn’t complement the living room décor.

5. Set aside down time. Farmers and ranchers work sun up to sun down. Plus some. It can be physically and mentally draining. That’s why they need to find time for a little relaxation. Although, Mother Nature often dictates if, and when, that time off will be.

4. Try something new. You might want to try a new restaurant, while a farmer wants to try growing a new crop. Maybe a new farming method. Or buy a different breed of cows.

3. Exercise a little more. It’s on everyone’s list, including farmers. Their exercise just consists of lifting a few more square bales. Moving tractor tires. Or lifting calves out of spring mud.

2. Visit fewer farm auctions. Unless it’s on Black Friday or it’s a really good sale.

And the number one New Year’s resolution for farmers and ranchers is to…

1. Connect with consumers. Farmers and ranchers are pulling up a seat at the table. Ready to listen to questions and share stories of their farm life.

The clock’s ticking on 2016—a tough year for agriculture. Farmers and ranchers faced low prices for their crops, tough weather conditions and increased regulations.

But it doesn’t deter them. As the New Year begins, they’ll dust off their jeans and straighten their cowboy hats. Because they’re passionate about what they do. And, after all, someone has to grow our food.

Happy New Year from all of us at Texas Table Top!