A Message from our President: 2020 in Review
As this year ends we can focus on The GOOD, The BAD and the UGLY. In reverse order the Ugly was a virus called COVID that took so many and did a great deal of harm. The BAD was the polarization of people and views about the world. The GOOD was so much more than The Bad and The Ugly. The Good is all around us and has been seen in the Nurses, Doctors, First Responders (Police and Fire and more) Essential Workers (stock room people, truck drivers, food processors etc.) who all put their interests second to those who needed help. As the year draws to a close I will remember the soup kitchens that found new ways to deliver more food than ever before. The innovators who turned the sour note of government shut downs into carryout and outdoor dining, who turned breweries into hand sanitizer producers, the auto makers who turned out thousands of ventilators and the drug companies who turned on a dime and created vaccines. I will remember the people who accepted the challenge of shipping a vaccine at – 100 degrees and figured out how to do it.
I will remember the caregivers for my father in his final days as COVID isolation took him away. I will remember the smiles at the outdoor Music Under the Stars and the circles that allowed an audience to hear their Pops, Opera and Ballet perform live under the big tent. But, most of all I will remember the realization that technology had changed the world and a virus came to change it back just a little. In 2020 I realized that a simple smile, kind word, human touch, birth of a calf, greening of the grass in spring, a little rain in August, a little snow in December, a walk in the woods and pastures and along a creek or pond is more powerful than the greatest supercomputer and all that technology has to offer.
I will also remember that 2020 started on a very high note for Greenacres – 2020 was dedicated as the year of WHAT WOULD THE NIPPERTS DO? WWTND. We started by looking at the Mission and Vision they gave us and expanded to consider their intent and their values – which we call the 4 Gs and 3 Qs – Greenacres is a gift, Greenacres is GREEN, Greenacres demonstrates Grace, the G.N.P. – Good Neighbor Policy and QUALITY QUALITY QUALITY. As we explored what this all meant for our future we were engulfed in COVID. Suddenly WWTND had a new question to answer – What would the Nipperts Do in the face of such a vicious enemy? The answer was actually very easy – they would pitch in. So we did. We pitched in by altering our budget and giving $1,000,000 to other charities to help assure their survival and/or the survival of their beneficiaries. We changed our farm focus from research and education to production increasing the vegetable and protein production rapidly and responsibly. We donated some of our products to local soup kitchens and free food distributors and helped our customers keep their cupboards full. We altered the way we did things – distancing, masking, sanitizing, circles (drawn on the ground to assure distancing at events) – became part of our everyday life. We changed how we delivered education by using videos and computerized calls that followed the same education model but took a new delivery path. We held family days so the wonder of the walk around would not be lost to the digital presentation entirely. We adopted, innovated, prioritized and realized that we all needed to paraphrase John Prine in our own way and say “When I get to heaven, I am going to shake God’s hand and thank him for more blessings than any one person can stand” even in 2020.
So what about 2021? What could be in store for us in the months ahead? We know that 2021 will start slowly as we continue to adopt and innovate around and through COVID. At some point in 2021 we will be able to bring children to Greenacres and they will experience the walk around. An experience that opens the eyes, ears, noses and hands of the special ones who get to go on the walk. With all senses wide open the brain soon follows and the wonder of Greenacres comes to life in the child who says WOW! The child that leaves their shell and wonders aloud why the trees are so big and the grass is so green and the calves are so cute. In the state of wonder that can only be achieved by a walk around, true learning takes place. It is the kind of learning that is lifelong and moves from the brain to the gut where it sits until some future day when that lesson of the greatness of the natural world will change the direction of it. Not sure when or how, but I am sure that it will happen because it has happened before.
2021 will be a most amazing year! It will be the year that allows us to focus on the really great things that happen each and every day and hopefully we will be able to do it together holding hands, smelling the freshly cut hay, seeing the birds soaring above and feeling the warmth of the sun as it powers the natural world. During 2021 we will remember and think of the hardships of 2020, but let’s loose the pain; not the lesson and focus on the greatness of the simple things we took for granted prior to COVID and appreciate them because HINDSIGHT is 2020.
There is a video that tells some of the story of 2020 and I encourage you watch it:
May you and your families be blessed this holiday season and may 2021 bring you and yours Joy beyond your wildest dreams.