The Coshocton County Beacon November 25, 2021 - Page 6

6 • The Beacon November 25 , 2021

Take a gratitude scavenger hunt this week

Happy Thanksgiving Coshocton County . I love Thanksgiving as it is a time for family , friends and food . It is a day where we can slow down , take a deep breath , and express our gratitude for a wonderful harvest season and for the many blessings we have been afforded .
My colleague Christine Gelley in Noble County recently wrote an article on a “ gratitude scavenger hunt ” she has been doing with her daughter on Thanksgiving Day for the past few years . Together they answer questions that allow them to appreciate the world and people around them . Her column struck a nerve and got my gratitude wheels turning . Agriculturally , what am I most grateful for ? So , if it pleases ,

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David Marrison
OSU AG Extension Talk
I encourage you to join along with me to answer a few questions around your dinner table .
For what farm animal are you the most grateful ?
I am an animal lover . I love the dairy cows I grew up with and really enjoy the small herd of meat goats we have on our farm . But when it comes to the animal I am most grateful for , it is an easy answer — farm dogs . Throughout my life I have been blessed to have some incredible dogs in my life . As I penned in this column back in June , having a dog is essentially having a life coach at your side . Every farmer needs a confidant who they can turn to — someone who will patiently listen to their ideas , goals and even frustrations , someone who is eager to check
cattle on the coldest days of January and on the hottest days of August . And sometimes they will just ride along in silence as we drive to scout crops or pick up feed .
For what farm tool are you the most grateful ?
Lots of tools are important to farmers . Included on my list are a good pocketknife , fence pliers , shovels and hammers . But the one tool I am most grateful for is a pitchfork . Many of my formative years were spent developing my character cleaning out the calf box stalls and the chicken coop . The pitchfork taught me the value of hard work and taking pride in your work regardless of how crappy the task may seem . My friend , Mark Sanborn , once said , “ There are no unimportant jobs , just people who feel unimportant doing their jobs .” Even today , a pitchfork is a reminder of my dad , who taught me , whatever you do , do it to the best of your ability .
For what piece of farm machinery are you the most grateful ?
I never had the chance to farm with a team of horses , so my implement of choice is one with a different type of horse power — a tractor . My memory takes me back to when I was 8 years old begging my grandpa to let me drive the old Minneapolis Moline tractor to rake hay . The beauty of this tractor was it had a hand clutch , and because I did not weigh enough to push down the clutch pedal on our other tractors , I could drive the Moline . A good tractor is the lifeblood of a farm , and its versatility is key . However , for me , a tractor offers even more : It offers tractor time — time to just “ think ” on the tractor seat . In fact , some of my best strategic planning has been done on the seat of a tractor . In the hustle and bustle of life , it is easy to just do , do , do and not to think .
Which of your senses are you the most grateful to have when it comes to experiencing agriculture ?
Now this question is hard to answer . Is it sight , smell , sound , taste or touch ? Agriculture provides something for every sense . Favorite sights include the birthing of any animal , especially baby goats , and the brilliant colors seen across our landscape in the fall . My favorite smells include freshly baled hay in the loft or freshly turned soil . My favorite sounds are the howl of the winter wind and the steady but distinct sound of a milk pulsator . Some of my favorite tastes include a ribeye steak to hot apple cider or cheese aged to perfection . And finally for touch , the feel of a cool autumn breeze on my cheeks and the softness of third cutting grass hay are high on my list . So I can ’ t choose one as farming has a way of filling all of your senses with the splendor of God ’ s majesty .
Closing thoughts
So what are you grateful for today ? I hope this writing has helped you pause and reflect on the beauty of this world . In closing , I would like to share the thoughts of Christine Gelley , who said , “ There are thousands of ways to express gratitude , and there are 365 days in the year . Don ’ t wait for Thanksgiving to be thankful . Don ’ t stop being thankful when the table is cleared . Your livestock and crops probably won ’ t thank you for the gesture , but if you keep that attitude of gratitude all year long , your body , your mind and the people you love sure will .”
Coshocton County , have a good and safe Thanksgiving !
David Marrison is an associate professor and extension educator of agriculture and natural resources at Ohio State University Extension . Marrison can be reached at 740-622-2265 or marrison . 2 @ osu . edu .

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