Making Thanks on this Thanksgiving

By Mark Chalfant on November 22, 2016

When I was a child, my favorite holiday was Christmas followed very quickly by my birthday. I guess I’m not unique in that respect either. But as I’ve aged, I’ve come to view Thanksgiving as my favorite holiday. For those of you who know me well, you might think that it’s because of all the good food that I’ll be consuming on that day (and for days afterwards), and you’re not entirely incorrect. But I also have tried to use this day as a day of reflection, truly trying to “Give Thanks” for all that I have as an individual, and together with my family.

I recently asked some of my staff what they’re thankful for on this Thanksgiving holiday. They responded with some of the typical thanks of family, good job, people they work with, and health and happiness. Beyond these, they also responded with faith and hope, the opportunity to think freely and openly, and a healthy mental capacity. These are great reflections, and I want to thank them for their openness in sharing with me.

As you’re gathering with your friends and family over this Thanksgiving weekend, please give a “thanks” for all the products manufactured in the state of Kansas, items that you might otherwise overlook or take for granted. Perhaps you’re using cookware made by Vita Craft. More than likely you’re apt to indulge on some food grown in our great state, and probably planted, worked or harvested by an implement made in Kansas.

Most of us will be traveling somehow, perhaps in a car produced by General Motors in Kansas City. While driving, you might be taking a phone call on your Sprint phone plan, or using a Garmin GPS device for navigation. If you’re doing some longer distance driving, you might go through a fast food restaurant whose buns are produced in Kansas City. If the weather’s nice, perhaps you’re pulling a Cobalt boat, produced in Neodesha using an innovative turnover ball made in Humboldt.

While you’re driving, you might see a Broce Broom manufactured in Dodge City, or a mower made in Hesston. You might opt for a camping excursion with various pieces of camping gear. Some will also be pulling a horse trailer made in Kansas. You might get passed by a fire or emergency vehicle produced in Hays. The list of products manufactured in Kansas is a long one, and most people don’t think about it.

So while you’re celebrating your Thanksgiving holiday, please give thanks to the 161,000 Kansas residents who are employed in the manufacturing sector of Kansas who make your life better, safer and more productive. As for me, in addition to the thanks listed earlier by my staff, I give thanks to you. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to lead MAMTC, work with the manufacturers in Kansas for their betterment, and to promote our great state to the national MEP system.

Let’s eat!