Just Wanting To Farm Doesn't Excuse You From A Bachelor's Degree

Just Wanting To Farm Doesn't Excuse You From A Bachelor's Degree

Education is more important than you think.
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There's a trend that I have noticed growing among rural high schools, specifically within their agriculture departments. Last week, I heard a high school counselor say "I have many students interested in agriculture, just not the type of agriculture that would go to college." This statement infuriated me, I won't lie. Especially as a high school guidance counselor, why would you tell a student that they should not go to college for the career they want to pursue? Now I know the train of thought she had. The students she was referencing wanted to just go back to the farm.

Any student wanting to go back to the farm should get at least a Bachelor's degree. My father runs a dairy farm, and he has a Master's degree. The knowledge he obtained from college allows him to run the business side of the farm rather than having to call an accountant to manage the finances. He understands animal science and the pharmaceuticals he uses to treat his animals. This allows him to save money on calling the vet every other day and allows for more effective treatment. His knowledge of crop and soil science also aids him when trying to work in the fields. His money did not go to waste in college; it saved him money in the long run. It is important that students know this path exists if they want to go back to the farm, and that it isn't always best to simply go with what you know.

There are all kinds of degrees you can earn if you just want to go back to the farm. You could major in crop and soil science, agribusiness economics, general agriculture, animal science, or agricultural systems and education. The options are endless, and they will better your knowledge of the agriculture industry. You can never know too much as a farmer. Farmers have to wear many hats, and you may as well be trained in as many trades as you can. Going to college can also help you find out what type of farmer you want to be. Your family may own a beef operation, and you assume that is what you will do. However, if you take a basic crop science class, you may change your mind and decide your passion is really there instead.

The amount of technology in farming is astounding. Drones are being utilized in fields, robotic milkers are entering milking stalls, and precision farming is on the rise. It is important that students understand all of these new-age technologies that can help raise their yields rather than just going back to the farm without any knowledge of what they can do with technology. Farming methods have changed dramatically in the past 15 years. Don't trust your grandpa to teach you all you need to know in this modern world.

You also may find yourself walking down a path you never thought you would. There's many students who go to college just to go back to the farm, and become really interested in something along the way. Whether its weed science or plant pathology, you may decide you want to do something completely different. That's ok. That's what college should help you do. No student knows they want to go to grad school and study the gut bacteria in pigs, but yet there are students making research projects out of that. Your educational career isn't a cookie cutter. You just have to give it the opportunity to flourish.

It is important that every ag teacher, school counselor, and high school administration help push students towards the direction of a bachelor's degree. We should never have the mindset that knowledge isn't needed, and that we should simply do the bare minimum.

Cover Image Credit: comerecommedned.com

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
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It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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High School Seniors Should Be Excited For College, Not Scared

Even though it seems stressful and it is a big new place, it will be some of the best memories you will have for life.

Cassidy
Cassidy
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Going into the summer after my high school graduation, all I could think about was college, and how I was going to prepare to go to a new school and move away from home. Just know, it is not as stressful as you prepare yourself for it to be. You don't need to worry about not having any friends or not knowing how to get to all the different buildings because you have to remember everyone else on campus has been in the exact same position you are in, and there are tons of people on campus to help you.

One of the things I was most worried about was classes and how to know which classes to take. My advice is to go to counseling and plan out your classes before you register. Planning out classes will drastically help you stay on track and the counselors will help you make a balanced schedule that you can actually handle.

Another piece of advice would be to not bring as much stuff for your dorm as you think you will need. By all means, bring the essential things that you will need, but remember a dorm room is very small and you share it with another person. You won't have a ton of space for extra stuff and you want to have space to move around and actually live in your dorm.

Finally, if you are concerned about meeting people and making friends, just try and be as outgoing and open as possible. Everyone else in the dorms is just as nervous as you are too meet people, it really helps to try to branch out. Joining clubs or greek life also helps you meet people around campus with common interests as you.

College is not something to be scared of. Even though it seems stressful and it is a big new place, it will be some of the best memories you will have for life.

Cassidy
Cassidy

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