You’ve got a friend in me.

My writing is very much fueled by people in my life. I’m a people person. It only makes sense that I write about the things that are most important to me, and I think the word “people” is pretty darn high on my list of priorities. When my friend Ryan IMed me recently to heckle me about the fact that I’ve published ANOTHER blog post about dogs (one of many), I couldn’t help but laugh and brush it off. He joked about how his toes felt stepped on because I blog more about dogs than human friends (lie) like him (also a lie).

But, in all reality, Ryan’s right. My blog has been dog-centric. And Ryan has been a little down in the dumps because of grad school and having to put Agriculture Proud on the shelf. I know that having to waylay my blog during undergrad was emotionally stressful for me — and undergrad was significantly less rigorous than the graduate program Ryan is in. So, why not? Why not call Ryan’s bluff and blog about him?

Ryan Goodman is (what I consider) a good friend of mine. For a long time after he came on the scene I thought he was agriculture’s cool kid and that he didn’t have the time of day for socially awkward wanna-be farm kids who tweet way too much. Over time we became friends, although I still maintain that he’s one of my social media role models. I’m professional, this stuff is my day job, and Ryan still does it way better than I could ever dream to.

The first time Ryan and I met was in the hospitality suite at the 2011 AgChat Foundation Conference. Our height difference was a running joke.

He’s a funny guy. Quiet, shy, very logical — almost to the point where my creatively-minded self has trouble understanding how patient and logical his brain is. Yet, no matter how many times I’ve given him unwelcome “advice” or pushed his buttons by being a know-it-all, he’s managed to put up with me.

Ryan can almost always make me laugh, especially when he as absurd stories from school. You see, Ryan’s graduate program is “animal reproduction.” So, he’s almost always got fascinating stories about what he’s learning at school. Whether he’s learning about dog mating situations, porcine ovaries, or the reproductive capabilities of sheep, there’s probably some sort of story that two 20-somethings can find humor in. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been stressed out at work or homesick or lonely, and a perfectly-timed text from Ryan has broken the bad mood.

Even though Ryan stands well over a foot taller than me, he only teases me about my height now and then. And he doesn’t get mad at me about that one time I posted his picture on a Facebook fan page called “Farmers Are Hot!” — even though we both STILL get notifications about it, years later. (What? I’m a prankster. I like to watch my friends deal with awkward situations.)

This post doesn’t really have a story attached to it, or a deep profound lesson. I know, I tend toward those things fairly often. Sometimes, it’s nice to write something a bit more superficial, like a blog post about how much you appreciate someone when they aren’t have the best time. (I reckon I should do more of the fun, light blogging I used to mix in. Are things getting too serious around this eNeighborhood? Maybe.)

Another height difference pic. This one is from the 2012 AgChat Conference. The other giant in the picture is our friend, Pat Mess!

I guess the point I’m trying to make with these 600 words of rambling about Ryan is that, sometimes we just need to take a moment to appreciate our friends. And I’ve been blessed with some really fantastic ones. Ryan is just one of many. So, here’s to you, buddy. And here’s to my many other great friends.


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