As I drove home from my oldest son’s college graduation, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride.  He did it!  No, WE did it as David L. Boren, President of University of Oklahoma, stated in his commencement speech.  Yes, the students shouldered the challenge of succeeding, but the parents, families, professors and many others contributed to the outcome as well. As with any successful endeavor in life, few can achieve results without the help of others.  I was thinking back to when he first left home and entered this new territory called “college” in a state he’d never been to and a town he was unfamiliar with.  He knew no one.  As he managed his way through the newness of every day, others came to his aid and became his friends, mentors, bosses and buddies.  The parent in me was proud of his fortitude to stick with it when faced with homesickness, difficulties with calculus and macroeconomics (to name a few) and everyday social choices one must make in college.  He made it through, with the help of many others. He is a stronger person for it, we are quite certain. Whether you are teaching, farming, raising a child or running a marathon, you need others helping you and cheering you on.  I have been taken aback by the hospitality and generosity of several other farm bureaus while planning my Summer Ag Institutes these past few weeks.  Anna at the McLean FB, Kelly at the Knox FB, Jill at the Bureau FB, to name a few, have gone out of their way to help me plan the best experience possible for our teachers this summer. If they didn’t know something, they called me back and told me which people to contact along the way.  I hope to feel a sense of pride when we return from our trips in July and if I do, I know it will be because of all of the people who helped me along the way: the farm bureau employees, the presenters at each stop, the bus driver, my staff and many more people we encounter along the way. Yes, the Sooners are the “pride” of Oklahoma, but this month my son was the pride of the Merrion household.