Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot about how agriculture is an aging profession with most farmers past the age of retirement. With more and more sons and daughters leaving the farm to pursue careers off the farm, people tell me all the time that the future of agriculture is a dying breed.
I couldn’t disagree more.
The future of agriculture isn’t dead. We’re just busy!
We’re busy starting farms, families and careers inside the agriculture industry.
We’re busy from dusk until dawn feeding, milking, planting, and spraying.
We’re busy pinching pennies to get by on low commodity prices.
We’re busy helping friends and neighbors with their fields after all our own work is done.
For years, we followed in our parents and grandparent footsteps, watching what they did, helping where we could. Now, we walk beside them. We have grown from the quiet listener to a voice in the conversation.
At young ages, we have taken over more responsibility and less acres to fulfill it on. Land went up and crops went down.
But we are still here.
We are the first generation to grow up with the technology that can drive a tractor, milk a cow and feed a whole building of pigs all with the touch of a button.
We can track crop yields by the acre and milk production by the cow. We can feed a specific amount of feed to a particular cow all with technology.
While we are still here, there are less of us. But that doesn’t mean our passion is weak. Talk to a farmer and you will see a passion that will amaze you, a passion that has grown through droughts, fires, floods and bugs. A passion that holds a family together through late nights and early mornings, long weekends and field dinners.
If you look around, you’ll see us: the future of agriculture.
We’re in the church pews on Sunday’s, praying for good yields, dry ground and more rain.
We’re parked on the side of the road, checking crops and cussing weeds.
We’re pulling trailers down the road, filled with pigs, cattle, hopes and dreams.
We’re in small town bars on Saturday night, watching the weather and the baseball game.
We’re in the fields by the interstate, pulling planters and driving combines.
We’re at the kitchen table at midnight, eating supper after a long, hot day.
We’re at the country fair, with our children, nieces, and nephews, encouraging the next generation to pursue our passion.
We’re at the office early morning, cup of coffee in hand and ready to see a new dawn.
We’re here and we’re definitely not dead. And as the future of American agriculture, we’re here to stay.