All is quiet on the Congressional front. Most senators and representatives have vacated D.C. Therefore, we are off to a good New Year. Here’s wishing each of you a safe, healthy, successful and less stress-filled 2012. Aren’t New Years great? They offer hope, promise, a fresh start and the opportunity to improve on the previous year.

I’d like to believe that the current year will override many of 2011’s controversies, failures, economic woes and declining popularity trends of Congress and the Administration. Let’s move forward with a new Farm Bill, better understanding of agriculture by politicians and the general public, unparalleled cooperation between Republicans and Democrats, and a genuine effort to put Americans first in all our lawmakers’ minds.

Am I dreaming? Can this be possible? I have friends who are probably saving this blog so that I will have to eat my words at the end of 2012. But, just think about it. So much has gone wrong with Congress, the economy, support for agriculture and the United States’ leadership position in trade and international affairs, things should improve in 2012. We’ve been down for so long, I feel like George Carlin when he said, “I feel so low that I could walk underneath the belly of a snake with a top hat on.”

Everyone knows 2012 is a huge year for elections. Dirty deeds, name calling and criticisms will be flowing from one candidate to another as we get closer to November. However, there is a good side to the process. Congress is on stage, front and center. Besides the president, many of those members are up for re-election and realize that they had better produce or face the consequences.

Sure, we will have ups and downs. But the keys to success are staying active and letting your voice be heard at the local, state and national levels. Take a stance and get involved in the issues that mean the most to you. As Winston Churchill once said when a down and out Parliament turned desperately to the elder statesman for advice, he strolled slowly to the podium, took the mike and shouted loudly, “Never, Never, Never, Give Up!” And then he sat down.

Those of us in agriculture know we have good years and bad, abundance and droughts. Still agriculture has always produced. And, Americans aren’t quitters. I believe we’ll get through this New Year with 2012 proving better overall. If not, I will eat this blog. Limit one per reader.