Boredom is not a problem to be solved. It’s the last privilege of a free mind | Gayatri Devi | Opinion | The Guardian


But boredom is not tragic. Properly understood, boredom helps us understand time, and ourselves. Unlike fun or work, boredom is not about anything; it is our encounter with pure time as form and content. With ads and screens and handheld devices ubiquitous, we don’t get to have that experience that much anymore. We should teach the young people to feel comfortable with time.

via Boredom is not a problem to be solved. It’s the last privilege of a free mind | Gayatri Devi | Opinion | The Guardian

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News & Views: Farmers must make their voices heard


Change! Christina Kamer is the HR consultant for WATT, an AG Media company based in Rockford. Kamer often quoted the saying, “The only person that likes change is a baby with a wet diaper.” That may not always be true, as there are good changes we choose to make — buying a new house, getting married, taking a new job. Even the good changes can be scary.

Then there are changes about which we have no choice, such as losing a husband, father and grandpa like the Johnson family and many others are dealing with this holiday season. They will be forced to learn to navigate these changes for the rest of their years.

The Stephenson County Farm Bureau will continue to work through the changes that began in April as Bruce was unable to complete his duties as manager. The board of directors will make decisions that will move us forward after losing such a wonderful leader of our county organization. As an organization, so far, we have fielded these changes in a style Bruce was proud of and I am confident we will continue to move forward in a positive direction.

Change was a topic of the speech given by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue at the Illinois Agricultural Association annual meeting in Chicago. Perdue, who said he remains bullish on agriculture in many ways, encouraged farmers to remain active and help share agriculture’s story.

“No longer, ladies and gentleman, can we stand behind our farm gates and our farm fences and say, ‘Just let me produce.’ We cannot do that,” Perdue said. “You’ve got to be advocates and there’s no better organization to advocate through than the farm bureau organizations at the state level and at the federal level.”

We live in a changing world of “fake news.” It seems politicians point fingers of blame at each other instead of working together. It’s frustrating. We think it doesn’t do any good for us to contact our legislators or speak our opinion. The biggest thing I have learned in the last nine months is that farmers need to stand up and make their voice heard. As a farm bureau, we need to encourage Stephenson County farmers to do just that. We need you to join FB Act. It is as simple as texting “FARM” to 52886. We need to share the stories of our local farmers, large and small. It can’t hurt to take five minutes out of your day to advocate for agriculture. In fact, it could help! More on this in 2019.

Changes were in store for many of our young farmers this year. It will be the first time in their farm careers that their operations will experience a financial loss. This puts more pressure on a profession that already has enough. The Illinois Farm Bureau reports that farmers have a higher suicide rate than any other occupation, with more than five times the national average.

“Farmers are definitely tough people, and I think it’s harder for them to reach out and ask for help,” said Jackie Jones, Illinois Farm Bureau associate field support director.

The bureau started a Rural Health Committee to address issues in the farming community. They are meeting to come up with ways to lower farmer suicides.

“We definitely just want farmers to know that they’re not alone,” Jones said. “We know times are tough, and we’re here to help any way we can. So (we want to make) sure they are aware of the resources out there, whether it’s contacting the national suicide prevention hotline or talking to friends and family.”

Again, watch for more on local programs in this area in 2019.

As much as everything changes, some things stay the same. We will have many of the same trips this year as in previous years. Due to the circumstances of the week, I didn’t get all of the trip information together or flyers created. That will be my focus next week. If anyone wants to give a gift of a Farm Bureau trip for Christmas, we have gift certificates available. Consider giving the gift of a membership to the SC Farm Bureau. You would be giving a gift of a year of discounts.

Holiday parties, holiday travels, winter weather conditions — stay safe, put down the cell phones, concentrate on driving and share the road!

via News & Views: Farmers must make their voices heard