Time Magazine ended their year with an article featuring 15 people that made a difference in 2006. One of the people was actually a group, The Grain Farmer, The article was written about Bill Couser of Nevada, Iowa. Not only is Nevada my home town but I also have a rather unique connection to Mr. Couser. Bill is considered a "large" farmer in our community and also a leading cattleman in Iowa. My dad, Cecil, was also considered a “large” farmer and cattleman in his day as well. Upon my father’s death several years ago Bill came to the house to pay his respects and make a request. He asked that he might have the honor to give the eulogy at Dad’s funeral. Mother told us children that Dad and Bill had developed quite a friendship over the years and most mornings the two men had began their day by talking about the cattle markets and other such things. When Dad’s health had failed to the point that he became a resident of long term care Bill had been a regular visitor brightening Dad’s day with the subject he love so well farming. I will always remember the beautiful eulogy Bill gave my father. It was a great tribute to a wonderful man.
Dad was a person who always told it like it was whether it was what you wanted to hear or not. He was also a man who believed very much in the future. I wished Dad would have lived to see his friend be honored in this manner. I wished he would have lived to see the town he loved so much put on the map by the courage of a group of farmers to make a difference. He would have loved it!
Often in rodeo we honor the soldiers who fight for our freedom, but today I want to honor these men of vision who are turning the Great Plains of America into a source of alternative energy. Corn-ethanol is no longer an idea, but a reality which produces a co-product that can still be used to feed cattle. In 2007 why not make a difference yourself and use fuels containing corn-ethanol?
Here is the link to the article in Time: http://www.time.com/time/personoftheyear/2006/people/9.html