LASA makes progress despite challenges

Is 2020 finally over?

Looking of the calendar, it’s true. We all remember the fall of 2019 and all the struggles we faced with harvest and torrential rain events. Could it have gotten much worse? Well, by March our world turned upside down again and our country was facing the worst pandemic in a century. But that didn't slow our LASA members and our ag industry down. Despite challenges, we were blessed with beautiful fall weather and a great harvest, and we rolled up our sleeves and continued to provide food for our country who was hurting.

As of today, hopefully relief from the pandemic is near and I hope, as I'm sure everyone else does, that normalcy will return in 2021. So as much as 2020 was a rough year, LASA found ways to inform our members and the public about all the good that is happening with our group. We had a great annual meeting at the beginning of the year but due to lockdowns we were forced to find other means of conducting board meetings and field events. That didn’t stop us from hosting a field day – modified to be a “drive by” format. We had four sites where farmers could drive to and see the work our members are doing with cover crops. There are many types of cover crops and our members did an excellent job of highlighting the diverse types. It's our plan that we will get back to a more normal type of field day in 2021.

Our pilot project with Grande is moving along nicely, with the hope it is going to bring value to our members once it is completed. The 2019 data entry is wrapped up and we should have results to share soon. We are very proud of our accomplishments so far and eager for our future. Watch your email for more information coming soon.

We increased our membership this year by adding five new members and a couple of corporate sponsors. I hope every year we can continue to add more members.

I would like to take this time to thank our members for completing their cost-share applications and surveys in a timely matter this fall so we could get cost-share paid out before the year ends. Good work everyone!

I am very blessed to be able to lead these extraordinary farmers here in Lafayette County. Our annual meeting is scheduled for February 24 and we are finalizing details, so watch for email and social media updates down the road about that.

Finally, I would like to thank Tim Trotter and his staff at Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, Dairy Business Association and the Dairy Strong Sustainability Alliance for all the work they do to help us be successful. We could not do it without them.

Wishing a Happy New Year and hopes of a prosperous year ahead for our farming community.

Stay safe, Jim