I'm a Navy brat, it's something I'm kind of proud of given that I saw a lot of the U.S. when I was growing up and got an appreciation of the military as a kid. No, I didn't serve, but I respect those who do and I thank you for your service.
Interestingly, when Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack speaks he'll often use a statistic that opens your eyes: 16% of the residents in this country live in rural areas but they contribute 40% of those who are in the armed services. Consider that for a minute. The rural values so important on the farm are the foundation of our defense of freedom too.
In our family, Memorial Day is more than honoring our veterans (my Mom is a veteran too by the way) we'll remember all of those family members who are gone. Those empty spaces at the picnic table this fine Memorial Day were the folks who brought us laughter, and educated us on life in ways we'll never forget. And while they left holes in our lives we do fill them with memories.
It's a time for family to connect, or reconnect, and share memories, perhaps share a favorite grilling recipe , and more.
For many of you reading this, Memorial Day may still be planting day as you work to get in those final fields of corn, soybeans, or whatever you're trying to accomplish. Every season brings its own set of challenges, but given the speed at which crops have gone in during the last two weeks, I'm expecting solid numbers in Tuesday's Crop Progress Report.
So if you can take a breather from running the planter, sit with family. Remember those who serve - both those who are gone and those who are still defending our freedom. Take time to enjoy that family. And make sure as you finish up planting 2014 that you keep safety top of mind.
Believe it or not, the next big thing on the calendar is the beginning of shows, field days and other exhibitions. From World Pork Expo  to the Hay and Forage Expo  and even the Precision Aerial Ag Show , there are plenty of places where technology is hard at work for your farm. And Farm Industry News will be on hand to cover these events.
Keep checking in - and if you've got a hot topic to discuss, don't forget to leave a comment here in the blog and we'll follow up.