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You’ll Find Out Who Your Friends Are

While in the tractor cab feeding hay the other day, the old country music hit, Find Out Who Your Friends Areby Tracy Lawrence was playing on the radio.

It instantly brought me back to our wedding day. Surrounded by our dearest friends in our wedding party, we danced to that song and felt grateful to have such wonderful support from people who meant the world to us as Tyler and I began our life together as husband and wife.

Fast forward 13 years of marriage later, and I got to thinking about what the lyrics mean to me now.

In the 2007 song, Lawrence croons, Run your car off the side of the road. Get stuck in a ditch way out in the middle of nowhere. Get yourself in a bind, lose the shirt off your back. Need a floor, need a couch, need a bus fare.

This is where the rubber meets the road. This is where the cream is gonna rise. This is what you really didn't know. This is where the truth don't lie. Youll find out who your friends are. Somebodys gonna drop everything. Run out and crank up their car. Hit the gas, get there fast. 

Never stop to think What's in it for me?Or "It's way too far.They just show on up with their big old heart. Youll find out who you're friends are.

Life has thrown me many ups and downs in life. And if youre in production agriculture, youve likely seen hard times along the way, as well. Volatility in the markets. Drought years. Floods. Derechos. Recessions. Death in the family. Cancer. A kid facing troubles. A farm accident.

Nobody is immune to hard times, but I often tell folks in my speeches that we dont have to face these challenges alone.

A recent farm accident in my community led to the death of a child. My heart aches thinking about the devastating loss, and I pray for peace and comfort for the family members. Its facing the unthinkable and wondering how youll get through the day to day.

Yet, the sun still comes up, and even with a shattered heart, the cattle still need fed, watered, and bedded; the kids still need taken to their activities; the bills still need to be paid; and the demands of life continue to go on.

And its in these moments where the heart of rural America truly shines. People come out of the woodwork to lend a hand. Friends, neighbors, and fellow farmers and ranchers check in. Meal trains begin. Volunteer efforts to help with planting or harvest or organized. Support from the most unexpected places shows up, and its in those encouraging words, the midnight text, the random act of kindness from the stranger who needs know recognition well that is what makes rural America so great.

I hope we never lose that. I pray we can maintain our communities to exist like they have for generations. But in order to have that, we truly have to support one another. Shop main street businesses. Donate to the little league team. Volunteer at church. Campaign for a local legislator or testify on a political issue that could impact the rural community you call home.

Someone told me the other day they fear for where America is headed. Not me.

Sure the news is awful most of the time, and it can feel depressing and hopeless watching our leaders make terrible decisions that defy the Constitution and trample on the American dream.

However, heres what I know the solution isnt in Washington D.C. or your state capitol. The solution resides right at home when we commit to loving thy neighbors.

Yes, youll find out who your friends are. I hope you all know you have a friend in me.

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