11 Ways Being An Ag Major Plants Your Seeds For Success

11 Ways Being An Ag Major Plants Your Seeds For Success

We might be that group of folks on campus that smell like cows with dirty jeans and boots, but we are gaining some incredible experiences that you won't find anywhere else.

Most people think that everyone has at least a similar college experience. Clubs, organizations, classes, sororities/fraternities, internships, etc. Most classes are held in a classroom or lecture hall with air conditioning and chairs. You sit there and listen to a lecture, take notes, watch videos and maybe, if you're lucky, get something that is a little hands on.

Of course everyone's classes will differ when you become a junior or senior, but for the most part, your college experience resembles everyone else's.

Not if you're an Ag major.

I can honestly say that being an Ag major means that your college experience might just be a little "out there."

Here are a few ways being an Ag major will make your college experience a little different, but will also plant the seed for a successful future.

1. Class is never the same two days in a row.

From milking dairy cows to artificial insemination, class is never the same. You might smell horrible and be covered in cow poop to your knees, but class will never be boring.

2. The types of people you meet are endless.

In a few short months since the semester started, I have met magazine editor's from Cattlemen's Association, Food Animal Veterinarians, Purina Feed Sales Reps, equine industry professionals, horse trainers, dairy operation managers — the list goes on. All of these encounters are helping me to mold and shape my career path, and may also be future jobs.

3. The internship opportunities are all over the place, and available always.

What feeds us as a society? Agriculture. This is an extremely huge industry! The companies in this industry are huge and all over the place. Most all of them offer internships, and even some paid.

4. The degree you are getting will take you places.

If you're looking to get a degree that will take you places, a degree that you can get a job in pretty much any state, or sometimes country, then Ag is for you. From range flock operations out west, to a chicken operation in the south, the jobs are all over.

5. There will never be a shortage of jobs in this industry.

You know why there will never be a shortage of jobs in this industry? Food. That juicy hamburger in the picture? That yummy Chick-fil-a? Every aspect of that animal being produced, born, taken care of, processed, packaged, and turned into that yummy food sitting on your plate was done by someone in the Ag industry. With a degree in this industry, you're guaranteeing your future.

6. We are like one big family.

We are a large group of people brought together by our love for this industry. We work together because that is what this industry is all about. We have a care for animals, crops, educating our youth, 4H, etc., and we all understand how important our future jobs will be to the whole world.

7. You will be a more educated individual.

If you never use your degree to work any job in this industry, I can promise you that you will use your degree in everyday life. When you go to the grocery store, you will truly understand what the labels in the meat department mean. You will know better than to believe the scare tactics spread by the media about our beef. You will be able to identify cattle correctly instead of just calling everything a cow. You will understand so much more about what you eat and the environment we live in.

8. You will have a greater understanding and appreciation of animals.

Have you ever thought that the animals in the above picture were just big and dumb and just stand there eating grass all day? Have you ever passed them on the side of the road and maybe never thought of them at all? I can promise you that after a few semesters as an Ag major, you will definitely give these animals a second look when you pass, and you will have a sense of appreciation for these animals that supply a large portion of the food supply for our entire world.

9. The variety of jobs that you can get with this degree is large.

My major is Animal and Dairy Science. Most might think that the only thing you can do with that degree is be a veterinarian. That is so far from true. The jobs for this degree include feedlot managers, equine researchers, animal pharmaceutical sales, feed company sells, nutritionist, and the list goes on. If animals are your passion, but you don't think vet school is for you, then you still have options to get a job in the field being around what you love.

10. You literally get to be around animals every day in class.

Who doesn't love animals??? I think all college students would be in a little bit better mood if going to class consisted of learning about and seeing super cute animals. From newly born calves and foals to cats and dogs at the vet school, we see it all. And it's part of school!

11. Our professors are a little out there, too... but that's what makes it more interesting.

We don't come into class and see a super smart, not very nice professor sitting at the front of the room, that speaks monotone the whole time about some boring topic. Our professors are relatable. Yes, very smart, but they have real-world experience in what we are interested in. They didn't just go to college and then come teach. Many of them worked at feedlots, in research laboratories, for food companies, etc before they came to teach. They might occasionally cancel class for a research project with embryo transfers in horses, or come to class smelling like a dairy barn with muck boots on covered in... well, muck. They are enthusiastic but tough.

I hope this gives y'all a little insight into why being an Ag major will give you a different college experience. It's coming to class in jeans and boots, it's learning real-world knowledge, it's appreciating the beings that feed us all, and it's becoming a better individual with a better future.

Cover Image Credit: Sydney Lind Moore

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5 Things I Learned While Being A CNA

It's more than just $10 an hour. It is priceless.

If I asked you to wipe someone's butt for $10 would you do it? If I asked you to give a shower to a blind, mentally confused person for $10 would you do it? If I asked you to simply wear a shirt stained with feces that was not your own for 12+ hours for $10 would you do it?

You probably wouldn't do it. I do it every day. During the course of one hour I change diapers, give showers to those who can no longer bathe themselves, feed mouths that sometimes can no longer speak and show love to some that do not even know I am there all for ten dollars.

I am a certified nursing assistant.

My experiences while working as a CNA have made me realize a few things that I believe every person should consider, especially those that are in the medical field.

1. The World Needs More People To Care

Working as a nursing assistant is not my only source of income. For the past year I have also worked as a waitress. There are nights that I make triple the amount while working as a waitress for 6 hours than I make while taking care of several lives during a 12 hour shift. Don't get me wrong, being a waitress is not a piece of cake. I do, however, find it upsetting that people care more about the quality of their food than the quality of care that human beings are receiving. I think the problem with the world is that we need to care more or more people need to start caring.

2. I Would Do This Job For Free

One of my teachers in high school said "I love my job so much, if I didn't have to pay bills, I would do it for free." I had no clue what this guy was talking about. He would work for free? He would teach drama filled, immature high school students for free? He's crazy.

I thought he was crazy until I became a CNA. Now I can honestly say that this is a job I would do for free. I would do it for free? I'd wipe butts for free? I must be crazy.

There is a very common misconception that I am just a butt-wiper, but I am more than that. I save lives!

Every night I walk into work with a smile on my face at 5:00 PM, and I leave with a grin plastered on my face from ear to ear every morning at 5:30 AM. These people are not just patients, they are my family. I am the last face they see at night and the first one they talk to in the morning.

3. Eat Dessert First

Eat your dessert first. My biggest pet peeve is when I hear another CNA yell at another human being as if they are being scolded. One day I witnessed a co-worker take away a resident's ice cream, because they insisted the resident needed to "get their protein."

Although that may be true, we are here to take care of the patients because they can't do it themselves. Residents do not pay thousands of dollars each month to be treated as if they are pests. Our ninety-year-old patients do not need to be treated as children. Our job is not to boss our patients around.

This might be their last damn meal and you stole their ice cream and forced them to eat a tasteless cafeteria puree.

Since that day I have chosen to eat desserts first when I go out to eat. The next second of my life is not promised. Yes, I would rather consume an entire dessert by myself and be too full to finish my main course, than to eat my pasta and say something along the lines of "No, I'll pass on cheesecake. I'll take the check."

A bowl of ice cream is not going to decrease the length of anyone's life any more than a ham sandwich is going to increase the length of anyone's life. Therefore, I give my patients their dessert first.

4. Life Goes On

This phrase is simply a phrase until life experience gives it a real meaning. If you and your boyfriend break up or you get a bad grade on a test life will still continue. Life goes on.

As a health care professional you make memories and bonds with patients and residents. This summer a resident that I was close to was slowly slipping away. I knew, the nurses knew and the family knew. Just because you know doesn't mean that you're ready. I tried my best to fit in a quick lunch break and even though I rushed to get back, I was too late. The nurse asked me to fulfill my duty to carry on with post-mortem care. My eyes were filled with tears as I gathered my supplies to perform the routine bed bath. I brushed their hair one last time, closed their eye lids and talked to them while cleansing their still lifeless body. Through the entire process I talked and explained what I was doing as I would if my patient were still living.

That night changed my life.

How could they be gone just like that? I tried to collect my thoughts for a moment. I broke down for a second before *ding* my next call. I didn't have a moment to break down, because life goes on.

So, I walked into my next residents room and laughed and joked with them as I normally would. I put on a smile and I probably gave more hugs that night than I normally do.

That night I learned something. Life goes on, no matter how bad you want it to just slow down. Never take anything for granted.

5. My Patients Give My Life Meaning

My residents gave my life a new meaning. I will never forget the day I worked twelve hours and the person that was supposed to come in for me never showed up. I needed coffee, rest, breakfast or preferably all of the above. I recall feeling exasperated and now I regret slightly pondering to myself "Should I really be spending my summer like this?" Something happened that changed my view on life completely. I walked into a resident's room and said "Don't worry it's not Thursday yet", since I had told her on that Tuesday morning that she wouldn't see me until I worked again on Thursday. She laughed and exclaimed "I didn't think so, but I didn't want to say anything," she chuckled and then she smiled at me again before she said, "Well... I am glad you're still here." The look on her face did nothing less than prove her words to be true. That's when I realized that I was right where I needed to be.

Yes, I was exhausted. Yes, I needed caffeine or a sufficient amount of sleep. My job is not just a job. My work is not for a paycheck. My residents mean more to me than any amount of money.

I don't mind doing what I do for $10; because you can't put a price on love. The memories that I have with my patients are priceless.

Cover Image Credit: Mackenzie Rogers

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5 Important Skills Your First Midterm Season At College Will Teach You

It is so easy to fall behind in college.


At my high school, teachers were not allowed to give midterms or finals because it was "too stressful" on the students. Although it was nice while we were in high school, now that I am in college I wish that I did have to take midterms or finals because now when I am taking midterms I am still learning how to study for them. This semester is the first time I have ever had to take midterms so I wanted to share five things I have learned this midterm season.

1. Staying on top of things

It is so easy to fall behind in college. Learning from this first midterm experience, I know now that after each lecture is over I should just do the assigned reading and all the notes as we cover each topic rather than saving them for the week before the midterm. You can always reread the textbook the week before midterm but reading the textbook as the lectures occur help engrain the content in your brain.

2. Writing everything out

I found it very helpful to write out when each exam was and all the topics that would be on the exam. This helped me make a study plan more easily.

3. Knowing people in your class

When I first came to college, I didn't go out of my way to talk to people in my lectures. However, this exam season I learned it is very nice to have the contact information of some people in all lectures because while studying if you ever run into a problem it is easier to first ask your peers than to wait for office hours.

4. Going to office hours

Although you can ask your peers and google answers to conceptual questions, I also wish I went to office hours more. Sometimes during office hours, the professor will give you more information about what may be on the exam and other times it is nice to go because listening to other people's questions may also help you understand your content better.

5. How to study

Before coming to college I read at so many places that high school methods won't work in college. I never believed it until now. In high school, everyone just used to memorize everything before the test. However, in college, you actually have to know the material and know how to apply it.

Hope these are helpful, good luck!

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