By Jennifer Whitlock

This was another year for the history books.

A full second year of COVID-19 impacts.

Record low temperatures and the most widespread winter storm Texas has seen in recent history.

Drought encroaching. Drought receding, only to encroach again.

Supply chain issues stretching across every economic sector in the United States—including agriculture.

Fertilizer prices soaring as much as 300%.

High prices at the fuel pump and in the grocery store.

Inflation rising at its fastest pace since 1982.

Sounds like 2021 was a real blast, huh?

It wasn’t an easy year, that’s for sure. Although each year has its struggles, we can always find a reason to be grateful.

Farmers and ranchers are grateful for record agricultural exports in fiscal year 2021, with 2022 expected to be even better.

Beef export values were the highest ever, too. 

Cotton farmers finally saw cotton prices reach higher than $1 per pound for the first time since 2011.

That receding drought mentioned earlier? At one point in the summer, Texas saw the biggest three-month decline in drought since 2001. Just 1% of the state was left in drought at that point, leading to a pretty good crop year across the Lone Star State.

Texas dairy farmers overtook New York to become the fourth-largest dairy state.

And we’re still No. 1 in many areas of agriculture, including production of cattle, cotton, sheep and goats, wool, mohair and hay.

There will always be challenges, both in life and in agriculture.

But farmers and ranchers persevere. One crop, one herd at a time.

They know how to take the bad alongside the good. And look for the best in each day they’re given.

To be thankful for good health, safe families, the satisfaction of a hard day’s work well done.

And how to hold on tight to that favorite saying in football, agriculture and life in general: Well, there’s always next year. Cheers to 2022. May it be a year filled with good health, good days, good yields and many blessings.