Agriculture Education Makes Sense For Everyone, Not just Farm Kids

Agriculture Education Makes Sense For Everyone, Not just Farm Kids

Thank you for bringing the importance of AG ed to light Buzzfeed.
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Not too long ago Buzzfeed released a video that I, being someone who grew up surrounded by agriculture, of course had to watch: "City Folk Work On A Farm For A Day."

Del Monte Foods invited four Buzzfeed members to visit one of their farms where they took part in collecting crop samples for maturity testing and allowed them to drive equipment during harvesting. These Buzzfeeders had no idea what they were doing or what they were getting themselves into, that much was obvious by their reactions and commentary.

Watching it, I didn't know if I should laugh or cringe. They thought green beans grew on TREES for cryin' out loud! Really?

But, these Buzzfeeders aren't alone in their disconnect from agriculture. In fact, it seems like most people really do have no clue where their food comes from. There are lots of agricultural products many consumers have no idea where they actually come from, and it's not as if the producers are trying to keep it a secret.

I've met people who genuinely believed wool was a plant, that there was no difference in dairy and beef cattle, that roosters were the ones that laid eggs and so much more off the wall concepts. Unless you are within one to two generations of a family farm, it's sad to say that most Americans know next to nothing about the agricultural industry.

This is where agriculture education comes into play. It's important and it's helpful to know where your food comes from, the growing and the sciences behind it.

Starting with food production as your base opens you up to learn about crops, plants, land management and all forms of animal sciences. More than just your food, it's helpful to know about basic environmental sciences such as soil or water conservation and renewable energy.

Everyone can benefit from understanding the basics of business, public speaking, and professionalism. With all of these possible topics and more covered in agriculture education, why wouldn't you want it to be apart of your curriculum?

AG-ed is already taught in rural schools all over the country, but not in many urban school settings.

These schools don't feel a need to "teach students how to be a farmer" as I've heard from various urban school educators, such as my own high school. (Thankfully AG-ed had been offered at our school for decades so the program was going nowhere.) But that's not what most high school or in some places middle school AG educators aim to teach their students. And even kids who don't want to grow up to be farmers should still know about basic agriculture.

The AG industry plays a part in every single person's everyday life.

From the clothes, you wear to the food you eat, to the lumber that built your house and from your constant use of agricultural byproducts, this industry plays a massive role in your life. There will always be a need for AG and there will always be a need for workers in the AG industry, and I mean way more than just farmers. With this industry being so vital to not only us but the whole world, it just makes sense to teach our students about it, urban or rural backgrounds aside.

Between knowing about your environment and your food supply to general knowledge on a field that will always be necessary, what possible argument could you have for not wanting schools to teach agricultural education?

Go on, think of something, while you do that I'll continue to dispell the crazy misconceptions the general public has about my industry. Wake up world, Ag ed makes sense.

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To All Incoming Freshmen, When You Get To College, Please Don't Be THAT Freshman

I am pretty sure we all know who I'm talking about.

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As we are all counting down the days to return to campus, students are looking forward to meeting new people and reuniting with old friends. And then, there is the freshman.

We have all been there. The eagerness and excitement have been slowly building up through months of summer vacation, all waiting for this moment. I understand the anxiousness, enthusiasm, and insecurities. The opportunity to meet new people and explore a new area is very intriguing. But let's be real, you are here to make memories and get an education. So here are a few pieces of advice from a former college freshman.

1. Don't be that freshman who follows their significant other to college

This is the boy or girl who simply can not think for themselves. The 17-year-old puts their own personal goals and interests aside to sacrifice for a six-month high school relationship. This will more than likely end at an end of semester transfer after the relationship has been tested for a month or two in college life. So if you want to really enjoy your freshman year, make your own decisions and do what is best for you.

2. Don't be that freshman who lets their parents pick their major

"You are not going to school just to waste my money."

This is a statement you might have heard from your parents. As true as it might seem, this is definitely not a good way to start your college years. If you are not majoring in something you can see yourself doing, you are wasting your time. You can major in biology, go to medical school, and make the best grades. But if deep down you don't want to be a doctor, you will NOT end up being a good doctor. When it comes to picking your major, you really have to follow your heart.

3. Don't be that freshman who gets overwhelmed with the first taste of freedom

Yes. It is all very exciting. You don't have a curfew, you don't have rules, you don't have anyone constantly nagging you, but let's not get carried away. Don't be the freshman who gets a tattoo on the first night of living on your own. Don't be the freshman who tries to drink every liquor behind the bar. Don't be the freshman who gets caught up being someone that they aren't. My best advice would be to take things slow.

4. Don't be that freshman who starts school isolated in a relationship

I'm not telling you not to date anyone during your freshman year. I am saying to not cut yourself off from the rest of the world while you date someone. Your first year on campus is such an amazing opportunity to meet people, but people are constantly eager to start dating someone and then only spend time with that person.

Be the freshman who can manage time between friends and relationships.

5. Don't be that freshman who can't handle things on their own

It is your first year on your own. Yes, you still need help from your parents. But at this point, they should not be ordering your textbooks or buying your parking pass. If you need something for a club or for class, YOU should handle it. If you're having roommate problems, YOU should handle it, not your parents. This is the real world and college is a great time for you to start building up to be the person you want to be in the future, but you can't successfully do that if your parents still deal with every minor inconvenience for you.

6. Don't be that freshman who only talks to their high school friends

I know your high school was probably amazing, and you probably had the coolest people go there. However, I believe that college is a great time to be on your own and experience new things. Meeting new people and going to new places will allow you to grow into a more mature person. There is a way to balance meeting new friends and maintaining friendships with childhood friends, and I am sure you will find that balance.

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I Wish My Big Ten School Was Known For Education, Not Football

College football is great, but education is the reason that most students choose their university.

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College football is a big deal to lots of universities. At schools like Ohio State, it is a really big deal. Although I personally don't care about football, I think that it is a great way to build a sense of community and camaraderie among students. It is fun, gives many schools a worldwide presence, and allows us students to have a sense of overwhelming pride in our school.

I just don't want that pride to outweigh the pride in the education itself. Unless you're a football player, you go to college primarily to learn and build your future. Football is fun, but sometimes I wish that society associates my school with an education rather than a single sport.

I cannot count the number of times that I told people that I go to OSU, and they responded by saying something along the lines of "Oh no, I'm a Michigan fan!" If they're referring to how The University of Michigan has some academic programs that are usually ranked higher than those at Ohio State, then I wouldn't blame them. Heck, it is ignorant not to acknowledge the truth in that-- if Michigan hadn't cost a thousand times more than what I'm paying now, I honestly might have chosen to be a student there.

Back to the point, though. I'm proud to go to OSU. At this time in life, I wouldn't want to be going anywhere else. Attending a school known for football was ultimately my decision, but that factor itself wasn't the reason. Admittedly, since I started college, I came to realize that all students aren't as football-crazy as I anticipated. One game day when I was studying in the library, a handful of guys came in yelling "OH" and expecting an "IO" back. They were met with silence until someone studying a few floors above them shouted back "F*** off!"

That story always reminds me that big schools like Ohio State really are for everyone. OSU excels in its education and wide variety of extracurricular opportunities. I don't love my school because of football-- I love my school because of the challenging academics, amazing faculty, and strong community. I think that it is time for the general public to see it that way too.

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