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Mar 14, 2014

Education and Agriculture: Why is it Important?

I had the opportunity to attend the Indiana Livestock, Forage & Grain Forum down in Indianapolis, Indiana this week. I was absolutely beyond impressed with the information and issues that were discussed and presented. 

As young, small farmers diving into the world of agriculture and modern technology, sometimes it can be overwhelming sorting out the key issues and trends in which we should be concerned. There's A LOT going on in the world of agriculture. Attending the forum has allowed me to sort out the issues and topics that I should be concerned with as an individual, consumer and farmer.

The really neat thing about this forum is that it brings farmers of all types, agribusiness associates, ag economists, ag financial institutes, Purdue extension, FFA officers, Farm Bureau and many more together all in one room. 

We are all here for the same reason and that's agriculture and our concerns with how technology and big data will effect it.

As consumers become more obsessed and concerned with what they're eating and where their food comes from, it becomes more important for us farmers and those of us in the ag industry to be as knowledgable as possible with our processes and data. As Jane Stevens, CEO of Indiana Soybean Alliance mentioned while discussing trending issues, consumers are going to trust farmers before they will trust the food industry. 

At least we hope so.

As I've learned more about farming and what it takes to make it in this crazy, technology packed, busy industry, I've recognized that farmers are no longer just farmers. Most of you specialize in one industry. Maybe you're a nurse, a firefighter, a stock broker or a teacher. You went to school for the proper training and gained the proper tools and knowledge to excel in your field.

Farmers, out of the barn and off the field are business owners, managers, accountants, economists, researchers, engineers, buyer/sellers, data collectors, human resource managers, book keepers and NOW educators.

So where do they begin? How do they keep up with all the technology advancements and trending issues among consumers?

I am telling you, it's overwhelming folks.

The ag industry deserves a lot of respect and I hope as consumers and farmers continue to educate themselves and each other, we can all work together as a team. As a family. 

After all, we all have something  in common.

We like to eat.

1 comment:

  1. What a struggle, huh?!?! It's important that farmers have the support of others, like yourself, but they also have to be their own 'ag-vocates'. Big business is dropping buzz words and using scare tactics to convince the population what is 'safe' and what isn't. Gone are the times when farmers (and those who love them) can peacefully exist and produce food to feed everyone... now they're busy defending giving a sick animal an antibiotic or choosing a traited seed that produces much, which in turn will feed more people, more than it's predecessor! I get riled up thinking about this, can you tell?!? I'm headed to the Women in Agriculture conference this week in Rock Island, IL and am excited to hear more about how we can help educate the public about the amazing things farmers are doing!


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