By Glen Ready, National Corn Growers Association Intern.
| When you like working for farmers, you |
can end up doing some interesting things!
The title of this post says it all. This is a quote from one of the many wonderful staff here at NCGA, and neatly sums up why our industry is unique. In my time here in the district, I have had the opportunity to network with a great number of people from various agricultural organizations. Some of these people come from agriculture backgrounds but many found their way in to agriculture later in life. It’s interesting to hear from people who sort of “fell in” to agriculture. I had never thought of a “why” for people that ended up in agricultural policy without an agricultural background. Those of us that have said background can give our speech on what makes agriculture special to us in any number of ways. We grew up caring about these things, and the “why” question is pretty easy for us.
As I continued to meet people in the agriculture industry that had no background in agriculture I was continually surprised. Why would someone want to work in agriculture (or even think to work in agriculture) if they didn’t feel a connection or passion for what they were doing. It is far from the easiest job trying to explain to people that producers do care about the land, our animals, etc. If they did have that passion, how did it come about? It made me think about what makes our industry great, and why George Washington would say that farming was the most noble employment of man (though as a farmer himself, maybe he was just tooting his own horn).
As I thought about this I realized it wasn’t so much the act of farming that is noble or inspiring. Indeed at times it is hardly glamorous at all what with the dirt, sweat, manure, and any manner of other things marring what is supposed to be a most noble profession. The people are what make agriculture so unique. The kindness, generosity, and willingness to help is near-universal in our industry. That isn’t to say none are curmudgeonly or stubborn beyond belief (my grandpa Arland certainly wasn’t a perfect example). Even many of those would give you the shirt off their back. For many without the background I’ve had, they come to the industry for a job, and they stay, and they care, because of the people.
This really isn’t all that different when I think about why so many of us with a farming background want to stay in the industry and help those farmers that have given so much to us. As was so neatly summarized by someone in the office that didn’t have an agricultural background, “I like working for farmers”. I realized that really, that’s why I’m sticking around too.