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College or not, farmers are an educated crop

I think we are all aware that teachers, doctors, lawyers, scientists and other professionals have college degrees.

Oftentimes, we hear medical professionals renewing their license to practice or teachers updating their continuing education credits. But, did you know that farmers and those producing your food also can be college educated, and often continue their education on a regular basis? I think that it is often perceived that farmers are not educated individuals and often just start farming after high school. Although there are some farmers out there who do not have higher education, many farmers are college graduates and have higher degrees. Either way, your food still comes from a reputable source and is produced with utmost integrity.

Foremost, let me start out by saying, I do not believe that college and higher education are for everyone. I think that there are some people out there who do just as well for themselves, if not better than those with a college education. Some people are just not school inclined and rather do better with hands-on work and projects. That is perfectly OK. Other individuals are very good at school and therefore wish to go onto to college and further their education even if they do realize that the career, they wish to do does not require a college education. That is perfectly acceptable as well.

I myself am a college graduate and have my Bachelor of Science degree in biology, which I combine with my experience in the field of agriculture to preform my job as a dairy farmer. I often tell people that I did not expect to be dairy farming after college, but it is where I found my true passion and ran with it. Although my degree might not be a requirement for my daily job, for me, having the knowledge that I have a college degree is something that no one can ever take away from me. I worked for it and earned it, and that is something that I am proud of.

Many individuals in the field of agriculture and farming, whether college educated or not, often educate themselves multiple times throughout the year by attending in person, or online courses to learn about the newest trends and research in the agriculture industry. Many universities offer seminars and courses online to gain certification or certificates in precise topics of interest in the farming “fields.” I know that I have gained a wealth of knowledge from these offerings and have earned many certificates in specific areas related to my job. For those more interested in the animal side of agriculture, or those more honed in on the plant and crop side of agriculture, there are many options out there to cater to all interests.

As for consumers, my main take away message, is knowing that the food that you buy at the store not only comes from a very safe source, but the people that are behind the scenes of producing that product are very educated in their field. These farmers have most likely not only invested a good chunk of money into their facilities to help produce a very safe and wholesome product, but they have also invested in their education and training and have spent years perfecting their skills of farming to get a safe, yet tasty product to your home all while keeping the environment and welfare of the animals as top priority.

Holler is a member of the Trumbull County Farm Bureau Board of Trustees.

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