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Central Lyon CSD

Secondary (7-12)


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FFA Enters Culver's Essay Contest

When I view the agriculture industry, I look at the various jobs and possibilities that are offered to young individuals like myself! Growing up in rural NW Iowa, I understand the hardships but also know the “joys and discomforts” of agricultural life! During recent years, the industry has been struggling to make ends meet. Whether it has been world trade, market prices, industry misconceptions or environmental struggles, there always seems to be something disrupting the end goal for production agriculturalists! However, through the roles of people like my Agriculture Instructor there are people within the industry who always have a positive outlook on what is to come.

According to Syngenta.us.com “Farmers globally must increase food production by 70% compared to 2007 levels to meet the needs of a larger population.” How is that fathomable you ask? I know exactly how we are going to do it! Throughout the past century, when I think about the size, equipment, planting practices, and many other things that have impacted present day farming; the outcomes have grown by leaps and bounds. Comparatively to the 1920s and 1930s to the present, we owe a lot of credit to those in agriculture science and research. According to Agronomy Expert Tanja Folnovic, “When it comes to fighting poverty, agriculture is the most effective than any other sector.” We are now able to grow, and develop better and higher quality food, and young people are going to have a crucial impact in the future of the business.


If we are going to have a larger world population, we need more people involved in production agriculture and not just farmers. Our future generation will rely heavily on research, product development, technology, and positive advocates for all aspects of agriculture.  So, how can we afford to farm when prices are as low as they are? Further research, technology, and industry advocates hold the key for success. Our industry has advanced so much. We now have the ability to yield twice as much on twice as less of land. Drone technology is another major push within production agriculture. Drones can collect soil data which in return gives the farmer customized information about his or her own land. Drone technology is booming within the farming industry and has opened the doors to eighty-two billion dollars in employment opportunities within agriculture.

Throughout modern farming methods there are ways that various production decisions can be traced. Precision planting, or (SSCM) site specific management are just a couple of ways that allow farmers to be more precise when predicting field population in order to make proper field management decisions. Farmers can track all of the fields productivity through various programs that are easily accessible through computer technology. This is an extremely vital resource to them, as field health can mean thousands of dollars of profit or loss on a yearly basis.

I believe there has been a time when farmers and agriculturists were out to just benefit themselves. Now we are at a point where we need to band together to promote the industry our American culture was founded on. Recently, my Agriculture Instructor taught about the farming crisis of the 1980s when the whole agriculture sector struggled to make ends meet. Banks would hold penny sales where farmers would attend sales and purchase neighbors’ land at extreme low prices. This would allow their friends to buy their land back someday. Farming is a family industry, and I believe that if we work together as one anything can be accomplished. The term I use to bring many together is “agvocate.” An “agvocate” described as “a person who is committed to creating positive perceptions of agriculture through a variety of tactics.” This is a role that people my age can truly make a difference! Just being a positive voice for the industry is something many can do. My instructor has said it many times, “stand up for what you know and what you believe in! You are the only one that can make a difference in what you know is right or wrong.” Truly I do not know if anyone could say it any better! Some may get caught up on the word, but at the end of the day we have one task at hand. It is our job to give people the true image of what American agriculture is about, and imprint the positive image that we need for success on those who may not understand.

So why should young people be excited to join the agriculture industry? One, agriculture employs 40% of the world’s workforce making it the largest industry. Two, the options are endless for employment opportunities being America’s largest export. Three, who wouldn’t want to be part of solving the problem of food sustainability by 2050. I want to be and “agvocate”, don’t you?

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The Central Lyon Community School District offers career and technical programs in the following areas of study: Business Education, Family & Consumer Sciences Education, Industrial Arts Education and Vocation Agriculture Education. It is the policy of the Central Lyon Community School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, creed, age (for employment), marital status (for programs), sexual orientation, gender identity and socioeconomic status (for programs) in its educational programs and its employment practices. Inquiries or grievances may be directed to the Superintendent, Central Lyon CSD, 1010 S. Greene St., Rock Rapids, IA 51246, (712) 472-2664, superintendent@centrallyon.org. Please see District Board Policies for additional information on grievance procedures.