Colleagues and Friends –
If you are like me, you can only marvel at the fact that another calendar year is quickly coming to a close. The march to the end of the year is always marked in my mind with the onset of the holiday season beginning with our traditional week of Thanksgiving. While there is much road to travel in the next five weeks before we formally ring in 2014, there is something very special about taking the time with our families and closest loved ones to pause, reflect, and be thankful for the abundance in our lives.
While it seems that we are often prone to look for what we do not have – or perhaps wish to have – I am thankful daily for all that we are blessed to have right here at the University of Nebraska, and in our Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
To be in a place where our mission is of such ultimate importance to the state – and the people around the world who are impacted by the resources that we steward and the sustenance that we produce from them – is a privilege.
To have the opportunity to touch the lives of bright and talented students who will be the future leaders, innovators, public servants, and contributors to our society in these critically important areas touching food, fuel, water, landscapes, and people – is a huge responsibility – and honor.
To be blessed with a multitude of resources from many different sources equipping one of the world’s top group of scientists to innovate in our fields through cutting edge and applied research to seek to produce more of the highest quality food products in increasingly sustainable ways for future global generations – is exciting, exhilarating, and fulfilling.
To have one of the very top extension programs of any Land-Grant University in the nation allowing us to fully extend the value of Mr. Lincoln’s “people’s” university to all Nebraskans – through what I recently referred to as both the “front and back door” of the University of Nebraska – is phenomenal.
To be able to welcome over 45 new faculty to IANR in this 12-month period – something no other U.S. university can say – is extraordinary.
To have world-leading new initiatives like Water for Food, Buffett Early Childhood, Rural Futures, and Global Engagement – provides unprecedented opportunity.
Our new issue of Growing magazine (see http://ianrhome.unl.edu/growing) highlights just a sample of things for which we can be both proud and thankful.
While the Thanksgiving holiday has its roots in celebration of the bounty of the harvest season, I hope that you will also take time to count the many blessings of your own home and hearth – including the people, professional accomplishments, and opportunities that you have every day in life.
Please know that everything that each of you do every day is valued, appreciated, and impactful. As someone said to me a few weeks ago – thanks for all that you do – but most importantly for being you.
Enjoy the holiday and then come back energized for the run to 2014 — Happy Thanksgiving!