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April 7, 2013

Salute to American Farmers….tying it to transition!

by Diane Twait Nelsen

Tonight during the country music awards one of the commercials that was aired was a salute to American Farmers with Paul Harvey’s voice delivering the message.  It was a powerful commercial….as the granddaughter, daughter, and sister, and wife of a farmer I was very pleased to see the salute….it’s much deserved!  It also made me immediately think about the connection between  farming and transition.  Now the fact that I was sitting with my computer doing work related things while watching the commercial may have helped me make the connection to transition planning but I did!  So here’s the connections I would like to share with you!

Successful farming begins with hard work….so does good transition planning, farming is a step by step process…..so is transition planning, farming is a gamble…….so is transition planning  (we so often have to step outside our comfort zones and be creative-we don’t always know what will work and when, but we keep trying-we gamble!),  farming is bigger than one person….so is transition planning-it takes a whole team.   Farming is built on trust, trust it will rain, that the sun will shine, that a harvest can be brought in, that produce can be sold for a fair market price, that the whole cycle will repeat itself…. good transition planning is also based on trust.  Students trust us to help open the doors to the future, to help them expand their horizons, to help them look at the future and their living, learning, and working goals.  Are you starting to see the same connections I did?  Here’s a couple more…..farming is not a whimsical, let’s try it for  a day occupation….it’s a way of life.  Good transition planning is also not a one time, let’s talk about it at the IEP meeting and that’s enough planning thing!  One of the old sayings that is tied to farming is that “you harvest what is sown” meaning that unless you start with a good base-the seeds, the hard work, the right growing environment, you won’t get a good harvest….farmers work hard to make sure that the seeds that they plant produce well.  We in education can do nothing less….and the transition planning we do deserves no less effort then farmers give to their crops…..and actually much more….because our work is creating successful adults……is there a greater harvest?

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