Josh Sosland
The middle of the year in the United States presents a moment to reflect not only on personal and professional progress achieved to date and challenges to be overcome in the months ahead but also on the many special blessings we enjoy as Americans. Such reflection seems especially apt in a year like the present in which the quadrennial election season has tended more than ever to highlight what divides rather than unites us as Americans.

For grain-based foods, the United States remains a market rich in opportunity, marked by talented professionals, proud community members running businesses competing both intensely and collegially to produce and market baked foods to consumers whose tastes are both particular and also impressively changing. The unprecedented number of imaginative startups in the food business, including grain-based foods, offers sound evidence that the spirit of adventure remains alive and well in this country.

Underpinning this greatness are the freedoms memorialized by this nation’s fathers more than 200 years ago. Exactly how those freedoms are defined and how they should be protected is a source of endless debate and not infrequent conflict, a challenge as evident today as ever. This debate, this constant tug, while frequently ugly, is also a crucial element in sustaining our liberties. As we look beyond this acrimony and toward one another, it is easy to see why the optimism that has guided this nation so well for so long shines in 2016 as brightly as ever.