We live in a society of box checkers. Graduate high school; check. Attend college; check. Get a job; check. Safe enough to retire; check. Life is full of expectations and things that we are supposed to do.
But let’s be honest; no one checks boxes in ag. In fact, more often than not, when it comes to agriculture the box usually isn’t even within eyesight. It’s a kind of organized chaos. The chaos of late-night calving and early morning chores. The chaos of fixing irrigation systems and repairing fence lines. But it is without a doubt beautiful chaos.
Chaos. It’s something that we have become inevitably accustomed to in the last few months. With the transition to online instruction, we have experienced every aspect of it all. From Zoom kicking us out mid-lecture to WIFI crashing during online exams, I seriously doubt that there is anything that we haven’t seen. And in a lot of ways, the same can be said about those in the ag industry.
I’m a firm believer that those who have grown up in ag had a special advantage with all of this prementioned chaos. And I think it is owed in part to the unpredictability of the world that we have lived in. Anyone in the industry will tell you that NOTHING ever goes as planned, and if it did, you probably did something wrong.
The people of agriculture have no set pattern. Some families own and operate large-scale operations, managing thousands of individuals. Others run a small dairy with a max of 50 cows at any given time. Some specialize in showing livestock, whereas some are focused on making it 8 seconds on the back of a stock animal. Some were born into the family business, and others developed a taste for it later in life. We come from all places, backgrounds, and experiences, yet can all come together on the importance of the industry as a whole.
There is no right or wrong way to be a member of the agricultural community. There are no boxes to check or things to mark off. We are hectic, chaotic, messy, and without a doubt some of the most resilient people you’ll ever meet. You will never find a more helpful and welcoming group of people. So, come on in, take off your boots, and have a seat; we’re happy you’re here.