In addition to being Rock Hill Ranch’s bookkeeper, part picker-upper, part-time meal maker, and occasional spare hand, I am a Financial Analyst at Frontier Farm Credit in Manhattan, KS. As we are young, beginning producers, our family relies on my off-farm income to maintain our standard of living. I love my job because I am able to learn about all types of operations – cattle, crops, hogs, and poultry – and help agricultural operations grow and prosper through financing their credit needs. This past week, I had the opportunity to represent Frontier Farm Credit at the Riley County Farm Bureau Kids Ag Day and spend a few hours talking with kids from the Manhattan, Ogden, Leonardville, Olsburg, and Randolph communities about careers in agriculture.
At our booth, we asked for volunteers to dress up as a chef, veterinarian, farmer/rancher, and banker. Then we asked the kids to tell us what each person did for a living. Everyone knew the chef made food, but where did those fruits, vegetables, and meat come from? From the farm to your fork, but how? Through the everyday work of the farmer to plant the seeds, care for the soil, and harvest the crops, some of which like corn is fed to animals. Farmers and ranchers raise their animals with the help of veterinarians who come and treat sick animals with antibiotics, when needed, in order to produce a safe and healthy product for consumers. The banker first loans money to the farmers and ranchers to purchase their animals and pay for their seed, chemicals, fertilizer, fuel, and repairs. We explained these four careers are all connected while noting there are lots of other careers in agriculture that may not be directly related, but are fun jobs too. Such as a zookeeper, florist, entomologist, park ranger, truck driver, and the list goes on and on. It was neat to hear all of the kids’ answers to our questions, especially when one child piped up and said a banker is a “money-maker!”
It’s kind of ironic that I actually entered K-State as a freshman in Agricultural Education, but switched majors to Agribusiness when I thought I didn’t want to teach for a living. Little did I realize that our job descriptions as agriculturalists would include teaching others about how we help feed, fuel, and cloth the world. Boy was I wrong! Education is the most important thing we do so that not only will we have a future in agriculture, but so that our children, their children, and their children’s children may have one as well.