As a senior in high school, the season of college visits, applications, scholarships and making decisions has arrived. It’s almost a daily occurrence for me to be asked, “What are you going to do after high school?” While this question causes anxiety for some of my peers, I answer it with confidence. Fortunately, I know the passion I want to pursue following graduation: agriculture. My love for agriculture began when I was old enough to say cow and only intensified by my involvement in 4-H and eventually FFA. However, as I provide my solid answer to the frequently asked question about what my major is going to be in college, my reply is often received with surprise. “You’re going to go into agriculture? Really? Don’t you want to do something else? You’re so smart, don’t you want to do more with your life?” I just smile, shake my head, and reassure them that agriculture is the field I desire to work in. Most people don’t understand why my decision to seek a career in agriculture was such an easy one to make. Here are the four biggest reasons why I choose to be the future of agriculture:
The People. I have yet to be involved in anything that has as kind, hard working, honest, genuine, and caring people as you will find in the agriculture industry. Every aspect of agriculture that I have been a part of so far has placed special people in my life. There is an unexplainable connection between agriculturalists, something that I’ve never felt working with those who aren’t from agricultural backgrounds. The part I am looking forward to the most about working in agriculture is working with the farmers, ranchers, and other good-hearted people of agriculture. I’m biased, but I truly believe that the best people are found in agriculture.
The Opportunity. I feel confident that I will be able to secure a job within the field of agriculture. There are more jobs available in the field than there are students graduating with ag degrees, so I know that I am walking into a field with opportunities. Also, the innovation of the agriculture industry excites me. Agriculturalists are constantly wanting to learn more, improve methods, and become more efficient, something that I admire. I look forward to growing as a person myself and coming together with fellow agriculturalists as we seize the opportunities presented to us.
The Variety. The jobs in agriculture are not the same from day-to-day. This is due in part to agriculture having its own “seasons”: harvest, planting, calving, etc. Also, since there are so many different components of agriculture, the jobs require a wide skill set and encompass various tasks. It excites me knowing that I will be working in an industry job where one day I may be outside working firsthand with ranchers or farmers, and the next day I might be a representative at an agriculture conference for youth where I can inspire the next generation of agriculturalists. The career opportunities within agriculture are endless, and the innovativeness of the industry is always leading to the development of new jobs and the increased variety of jobs.
The Mission. The agriculture industry has one main goal: feeding the world. Those involved in agriculture take great pride in the steep task that they face which is producing enough food to fill the dinner tables of families across the world. I am proud to know that I will be joining an industry with such an important job and also one that is constantly working achieve that goal.
Although many people still won’t understand why I want to pursue a degree in agriculture, I will continue to smile and reassure them that it’s the right choice for me. My future in agriculture excites me.
To students who are as passionate about agriculture as I am: Don’t let anyone discourage you from entering the agriculture industry. We are important and we need intelligent, creative young minds to join us. Ignite your interests and chase your agricultural pursuits. You won’t regret being involved in an industry that allows you to work with kind-hearted, genuine people, provides opportunities, gives variety, and works together with one another to accomplish the mission we have. Together, let’s feed the world.
Amanda Most is a senior at Ogallala High School in western Nebraska. After graduation, she plans to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and major in Agricultural Communications. She is involved in a large variety of extracurricular activities, but there is one that easily makes the top of her list: FFA.