The birth of Jesus takes place in a barn, and part my Christmas day was spent the same way. Babies don't give you much warning when they are going to be born, so for farmers being close to their animals on Christmas is very important. I had just gotten out of the shower and was getting ready for Christmas after being with the pigs when my dad came inside. We had goats.
In the past week I have seen not one, but two articles stating that agriculture has no future and questioning if the industry is appealing to today’s youth. I would officially set everyone straight by saying, “YES! Agriculture is booming and no fears, the future is in good hands”.
First, I would like to address Buzzfeed. First of all, they refer to the degree as “agriculture”. What I doubt they know is “agriculture” is not one degree. In fact, most universities have a whole college designated to agriculture, with thousands of students that have different majors that all fall under the term of “agriculture”. Also, most agriculture colleges are GROWING in numbers, fast. If you talk to a staff member from Iowa State University in the college of Agriculture and Life Sciences, they will tell you class sizes are getting larger and they do not see this stopping any time soon. Next mistake, their reason that agriculture is one of the worst careers to be involved in is that, and I quote, “farm manager opportunities are expected to drop by 5% and continue to do so until 2018”. Yes, farms are consolidating and there are not as many farms as there has been. But is the world population not growing? And people like to eat? And we need more food? And we need to do more than just grow the food, but we need to figure out how to get the food to people, keep it at a good price, and keep it healthy and safe? Trust me, jobs are there. As the population grows, so will careers in agriculture.
I surrendor. I went 16 days in my challenge and then I didn't go brain dead, but I did struggle to find the time to share my ideas. The good thing is, there is always next year! So here is my list of why agricutlure rocks:
Today Marek Land and Livestock experienced something they have never had before; a video shoot for John Deere Financial. A few weeks ago, my dad recieved a call from his college friend asking if his marketing firm could use our century farm, and we agreed. They brought in a production company, actors, models, a make-up artist, and employees from Two Rivers Marketing and John Deere. At one point in time, there were 22 cars at our farm. One important aspect was the new equipment that was brought from the local John Deere dealer. To say the least, it was busy around here.
It was awesome to see a video shoot, but I also loved seeing my dad and grandpa getting their make-up done and being videoed for an interview about our century farm. John Deere did a great job of highlighting the farm life along with the importance of family.
Three friends were looking for a place to get away from school, so they visited the Center Grove Apple Orchard in Cambridge, Iowa. There they found a beautiful farm complete with fall festivities, engaging activities, and educational aspects. The food was delicious, the hayrack ride took us to the grounds were the corn maze and pumpkin patch were located, and the pumpkins were beautiful. The life size cartoon wooden cutouts were entertaining, and the yard was complete with almost every farm animal imaginable (including a goat jungle gym), and an old one-room schoolhouse. Our favorite things included the giant trampoline and the big yellow slide. We also loved the corn pit, which was a giant pool of corn kernels. We went home as the sun was going down with smiles on our faces, corn in our shoes, and great memories from the Center Grove Apple Orchard.
Photo curtsy of ISU College of Agriculture
Yesterday I attended the largest agriculture career fair in the nation with 268 companies. The Leid Recreation Center at Iowa State University was filled with companies, recruiters, and potential students who would fill internships and full time employment. If you think students are lazy, agriculture companies arn't hiring, and Iowa State University isn't be best University in the nation, I believe the career fair yesterday proved these thoughts to be true.
A few days ago I wrote about large companies in agriculture, but don't think large corporations are taking over agriculture. In fact, over 90% of farms are family owned and operated. I've seen statistics for 92%, 93%, and 98%, so I think it's safe to say over 90 is a good fact.
I'm proud to be from a family farm that has been around for over 100 years. Not all farms are century farms though; people are taking pride in being from a family farm and want to be a part of this community. I am the sixth generation on my family's diversified livestock and grain farm. Although I have three sisters and we are not the typical family where the son will take over the farm, we are all dedicated to insure that future generations will have the same land that has been in my family for over a century. It's crazy to look at pictures to see how things were back in the day. Below is a picture of the farm where my grandparents currently live. My house is in the background.
Big companies create controversy, which allows opinions. The Iowa State Daily just published an article stating how Monsanto is a bad company that I found very interesting. But, my favorite post about Monsanto is a blog titled, "Can Somebody Tell Me What Monsanto Is So I Can Hate It?".
My questions for people who have this perspective on Monsanto is:
1) Why would you want to hate something?
2) Have you looked into what Monsanto’s mission statement is and what their goals are?
3) Any business has positives and negatives, shouldn't you know both sides?
With farming comes stories, which turn into memories. The Des Moines Register put together 100 photos of farming from the 1930's, which are simply amazing. If you live on a farm, I challenge you on this Sunday that you ask people older than you to share about farming in the past. If you don't, ask people who may have been familiar with agriculture. Even better, pictures are worth a million words. Find old photo books and see what you can learn from them. More pictures from my family farm will be shared soon, but click here for the Des Moines Register link and look below for a preview of my families history books.
Southeast Iowa born. Ames living. College girl experiencing the real world.
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