Updated: Oct 17, 2019
Once people find out I grew up graduating with a class of 350 and didn't grow up with an agriculture background I find myself getting asked, "So how did you end up interested in agriculture?"
Over time I have created a spiel to answer. "I started off pre-vet wanting to work with companion animals and luckily I was set up with a random roommate who grew up on a beef farm."
While this spiel interests people in the industry, I truly don't believe it does any justice for how I got interested in the Agriculture Industry.
It doesn't illustrate how lucky I was for my freshman roommate. Everyone I have met in the ag industry are amazing people no doubt, but just like everyone else, they tend to mingle with people with similar interests. Before college I had never been to a livestock show, never considered the different breeds of cattle or the process of farm to table. My roommate took the time to answer all of my questions. She helped me with my my animal science classes. She introduced me to other livestock kids and took me to shows. Honestly, if it wasn't for her, I would not be where I am today.
My spiel doesn't show how hard I had to work in classes that some deemed simple. My peers grew up learning most of this coursework, while this information was foreign to me. I had to study breeds, gestation lengths, etc. There were many days that I wanted to give up, but I found that my passion for the industry was more important than my fear of failing.
It doesn't justice how excited I was when I obtained my first internship. Having Marshall Ruble and Sarah Smith hire me as the Public Relations Intern was a crucial role of gaining experience in the industry. I was able to network, attend livestock shows, find out I enjoy taking pictures and work with some pretty great people.
It doesn't justice how good I felt when I took a picture that someone complimented or deemed worthy to share.
Finally, the fact that I don't come from an ag background shouldn't necessarily be seen as a negative and shouldn't define me completely. While I realize I need more handling experience and I don't know everything... I am determined to use my background to my advantage. I have spent four years of my life learning the science of agriculture and I understand, because of a lack of ag education, that some consumers aren't fully aware of the efforts it takes to farm.
My spiel is to just get my foot in the door. I hope that once I do that people will allow me to show them the true reason why I am interested in the Agriculture Industry. My true passion is to help share the stories of the amazing, hardworking people in the industry to consumers through various forms of communication. I believe that shrinking the gap between the producers and consumers is a crucial step for the industry.
I've heard people say, "Not everyone can be a farmer." While that is a true statement, I believe that everyone should know the realities of being a farmer.