One of the funny things about getting older is how it warps our perception of time. When we’re young and nearly every experience is new, time moves slowly. As we age, however, there are fewer and fewer things we haven’t experienced, our schedules become more predictable and the days seem to meld together.

I think it’s fair to say most of us were coasting along as time gradually picked up speed until about March of 2020. Suddenly days felt like weeks and weeks felt like years as uncertainty and routines were up ended.

This warped version of reality seems to be receding because somehow it’s now November and I’m wondering what happened to October. Halloween is over and the winter holiday season is approaching fast. We’ll even turn back time, literally, in a few days, but that’s a topic for another time.

Perhaps the most encouraging sign we’re all finding in our routines is knowing the first weekend in December means the 103rd Kansas Farm Bureau annual meeting will be held in-person in Manhattan Dec. 4-6. It’s a time to enjoy food and fellowship as we celebrate another year, honor those who’ve made important contributions to agriculture and hear from elected officials.

Of course, there will be plenty of time for conversations and networking in the hallway with friends, both new and old. There’s value for every one of the several hundred participants who will be in attendance, whether they raise crops or livestock.

Kansas native Dale Moore will deliver the keynote address. Moore grew up on a southwest Kansas livestock, hay and grain farm, and has decades of experience representing agriculture in our nation’s capital where he now serves as executive vice president at the American Farm Bureau Federation. I’m looking forward to hearing what he has to say on the current state of agriculture.

Just as it’s important to recognize past achievements, Kansas Farm Bureau’s annual meeting also sets the agenda for the next year. The business session will focus on what comes next — what plans and policies are important to helping members as we move into the future. These issues will be decided by Kansas farmers and ranchers based on a year-long process where members have multiple opportunities to raise concerns and vet proposed resolutions.

This transparent, deliberative process can feel like it takes forever to address issues, but that’s by design. The development process forces us to look beyond immediate complaints to five or 10 or even 50 years from now. That may sound like a long time to some, but for others years can disappear faster than they ever imagined.

I hope you’re able to get away from the farm so you can join us as we celebrate another year of achievement and lay the groundwork for success in 2022. It will be good to be together again, and we can get back to our old routine.