Autumn is a busy time for farmers and ranchers.  In addition to all the work needed to get their livestock and crops harvested or shipped to market, they also take the time to hold meetings to discuss policies they feel should be discussed by delegates to the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation 103rd Annual Meeting.  In today’s world, one of the most precious resources is time, so we all need to take the time to thank our county Farm Bureau leaders for dedicating some of their time to the organization.

While I’m at it, I need to spend a few words to talk about how lucky we are, in spite of the multitude of problems we work on, to live and work where we do.

During this election season, there have been numerous debates about the election integrity in Wyoming and the U.S.  However, even during the worst of times, elections in our country are head and shoulders above those conducted in many other countries.  Does anyone feel the recent referendums by the Russians in the Ukraine were even remotely fair?  When the largest populated country in the world goes to vote, does anyone believe the election isn’t rigged?

And if you want to go to a church on Sunday in that same country you might end up in a labor camp where the leaders you had to vote for try to educate you about the error of your ways.

Fuel costs have jumped a lot over the last couple of years, but when I look at the parking lot at that big box store that has everything but service, people are still driving their vehicles.  As President Fornstrom mentioned in his column, Americans will pay more for heating their homes this winter, but we aren’t looking at the possibility of not being able to even heat our home, like some of our European neighbors.

Our transportation network gives the U.S. a huge advantage over many countries.  Some of these countries have tremendous natural resources they can utilize. However, in many of them getting the raw product from the field, forest or mine is difficult and expensive.

We hear a lot about “food insecurity” in this country, but what we call food insecurity in America is nothing compared to food insecurity in many countries in the world.  Food insecurity in Venezuela means no food-period.  Even those who can afford food cannot find it.

There are a lot of countries where the light switch is more of a decoration than an actual switch that can turn on the electric light.  We argue whether natural gas is a better alternative for cooking than electricity in this country while huge populations have to gather sticks to cook their meal.  And let’s not even talk about the process to get water for cooking and drinking.

We can’t take these benefits for granted. While we are concentrating on some of the trees let’s not forget to step back and look at the forest.

By Ken Hamilton, Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation Executive Vice President