By Justin Walker

Have you ever had a tough year? Bank account is a little low. Your car breaks down. And tough decisions weigh on you.

Farmers and ranchers can relate, because they face similar issues, too.

There’s the cost of seed, fuel and fertilizer. Tractors break down. The stress piles on as they play the hand Mother Nature deals. Sometimes it’s drought. Other times it’s floods, hurricanes or hail.

Last year, was a doozy. Devastating wildfires, tornadoes, hail storms, Hurricane Harvey and subsequent flooding wreaked havoc on Texas agriculture. Crops and livestock were lost. Homes destroyed. Equipment damaged.

That put financial strain on some farm and ranch families.

This year has been a repeat of some of those struggles. Fires have blazed across the Panhandle, and 43 percent of the state is suffering from drought conditions.

But farmers and ranchers keep pushing forward with a glass half full mentality—constantly looking for the silver lining.

Why? Because it’s their passion. Their livelihood.

It’s tough to stay in business when you don’t have control of the markets or weather. Yet, it’s something farmers and ranchers do every day and every year. They’ve also faced years of burdensome regulations. Some would even say farmers and ranchers are becoming an endangered species.

Texas farmers and ranchers have experienced, are experiencing and will experience difficult times. They know that. We know that. But we can learn a lot from them about determination and perseverance. I know I can.