By Julie Tomascik

Crisp mornings. Changing colors. And a buzz of urgency and excitement hang in the air.

It’s fall on the farm.

When farmers and ranchers are hurrying to harvest crops. Or get the seeds of next year in the ground.

It may seem early, but the first snow of the year is always seen in the fall. In the cotton fields where white bolls of fluff decorate the countryside. But, as this year has shown us, the real stuff can fall and make a mess of things.

Seas of gold and maroon are mixed in between. Because corn and sorghum harvests are still rolling in the Panhandle.

Ranchers are busy stocking up on feed and hay, preparing for the needs of hungry livestock during the long winter ahead.

All the while anticipation builds. For a new year. A new crop. And new possibilities.

Because those seeds going into the ground right now carry the hopes and dreams of farm and ranch families. They’re a livelihood. A passion and the roots of the state’s food, fuel and fiber production.

With fall, comes shorter days. And a chore list that remains the same—long and tiring.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t time for fun.

Farmers cut mazes into cornfields. To provide a fright for those who dare to get lost in the stalks. There are pumpkin patches to visit. Fires to sit around. And colorful sunsets paint a new picture every evening.

Fall is wonderfully chaotic. Suspenseful. And a time for family and agriculture. Because the two work in harmony. And as certain as summer leads to fall, agriculture will remain a staple for all.