Red River Valley farmers, we appreciate your hard work.

Growing up in Park River, N.D., I was able to witness the process of prepping, planting, spraying and harvesting each year. The smell of freshly tilled black dirt and sparkling gold wheat fields was part of my childhood. Losing many of my classmates to harvest time during the fall was part of our annual cycle; knowing most of them will be driving beet trucks was commonplace in our circle of friends.

So, when I spoke with my friend back home and learned of the dire situation the local farmers are facing this year, I know there is not much I can do as a young mom at home raising five small children in San Diego while my husband is serving his fifth combat deployment in Iraq.

Each day is a challenge for me, but thanks be to God, He has blessed me with family and friends near and far who have went out of their way to show us their support and love while I walk this difficult path right now. That is something I can do for all of you farmers. While I am not in N.D. now, I can share my love and gratitude for each and every one of you.

The beautiful thing about our humanity is no one is meant to experience this special gift of life alone -- community is the core of our existence. And I wouldn't be able to handle the life I lead today without first witnessing the gifts and guidance of my parents and the hardworking people of our amazing state of North Dakota. Even Jesus, our Savior and King, God and Man, did not do it alone. ... He fell carrying His own cross, and God gave him a mere human, Simon, to assist him walk his difficult walk. The beauty of tribulation is that it brings people together like never before.

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I know this difficult season will only make you farmers better. Our life is not measured by what we produce or what we have in the bank or do not have. Our life is measured by the fact we were created with dignity and our job is to love and build together and for that important lesson, I thank you all.