He is a hero and mentor with his passing leaving an irreplaceable void yet so many fond memories.
It was unexpected, quite sad, most humbling when asked to do a eulogy for Don Peterson’s funeral.
Originally agreeing to do the honor for the good friend and his family, personal illness prevented it at the time.
Still appropriate better late than never to acknowledge and remember all that Don Peterson did for so many.
In 1966, the new county agent scheduled a livestock judging workout evaluating Duroc hogs at the Don Peterson farm. Not much is recalled from that first meeting except that his daughters became judging teammates and later classmates.
Distantly acquainted with Don throughout the years, friendship tightened when selling him newspaper and radio advertising for several decades. He frequently offered family gathering invitations happily accepted.
Like numerous agriculturalists of the era, nearing retirement Don was stricken by financial strife and started Santa Fe Agricultural Services
A lifelong farmer, forever-intelligent, deep-thinker, Don assisted those in agriculture to make essential financial risk management decisions. It was a complex service requiring continuous study as programs, taxation, technology, and all of agriculture changed rampantly.
Don met the challenges head-on with an unrelenting effort to help farmers succeed in the profession nearest to his heart. While many shied from technology intensity, Don grabbed ahold crediting GPS (Global Positioning Systems) vital in developing farmers’ sound budgets.
Impressive yet somewhat boggling how Don’s business grew throughout the region. It would have been challenging work for others of such maturity, but so exciting for Don with his endless energy.
The most professional, congenial, promoter, Don developed heavy, broad-based media advertising. Recognized for his tall straight posture, tie, cowboy hat, friendliest grin, Don Peterson knew everybody. He was constantly on the go visiting farmers with a positive insider’s outlook for financial success.
The farm life especially involving neighbors was always especially close to his heart with remembrances frequently repeated. Don insisted everyone had an important story that a journalist must write about for today’s generation.
Strong in faith, community servant, especially for youth, Don Peterson’s enthusiasm overflowed backed by follow-up arduous work. He was proud of his tractor collection, numbering more than when he was a fulltime farmer.
Reminded of First Thessalonians 5:11: “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up.”