It seems as if it is part of the natural cycle to pause at this time of the year to reflect on the past year's events as well as to look forward to the hope and opportunity that the upcoming New Year offers. Farmers seem to do this best as they constantly look forward to the next season and say "Next year will be a better year." Farmers do this in spite of bad weather, crop failures, livestock losses, and other things that are seemingly at the whim of a fickle Mother Nature. Yet, the world is fortunate that farmers continue to fight on in spite of the daunting challenges of the agriculture business, so that everyone may have food, shelter, and a nourishing landscape.
As Augusta Co-Op closes out the year, we are on track for another year of near-record to record sales as well as a healthy profit and balance sheet. We are able to continue this success because of the loyal support of our co-op members and other customers. This success will be achieved despite the challenges of commodity and key ingredient prices that dropped significantly in the second half of the year and one of the rainiest seasons on record.
As we move into 2014, we will be celebrating 85 years of operation as a cooperative this coming fall. You have to admire the courage and leap of faith that our cooperative founders must have had to start a cooperative and to keep it viable through those tough formative years of the Great Depression and World War II. While those original cooperative founding members are all gone now, our success has been sustained by their children, grandchildren and other family members that grew up with the cooperative way of doing business.
As the year draws to a close, it seems as if that same faith and courage that those early founding members had in forming Augusta Cooperative is needed more than ever today. Despite the success of the past year, some of our cooperative members, other co-op supporters, and community officials have experienced financial and health challenges over the past year that were different and more challenging than some of the challenges of the past. For those individuals, it helps to be reminded of some of the words of a poignant, deeply moving yet uplifting song that says "see you On The Other Side" that tells everyone to have faith into the future.
As the ball drops and the New Year strikes, let's roll right on into that 85th chapter of Augusta Co-Op operation and continue the success story of Augusta Co-Op by Exceeding Your Expectations!