Agriculture has become this up and coming trend in society. More consumers are asking questions and taking advantage of the resources provided by agriculturalists - knowledge is a powerful resource. One of my greatest joys of working in agriculture is being able to teach others, but also being able to learn from the generation before me. Agriculture is a constant give and take, and if you give to the industry, you'll take away much more. The opportunities I have received during my college career are all from the industry looking out for it's members. I look for educational opportunities every day in my workplace or on the farm to learn new skills or information.
When I was choosing a major in agriculture, I didn't realize the impact it was going to have on my future. I grew up on my family's grain farm in central Illinois, and as I prepared for college, agriculture seemed like somewhere I would fit in comfortably. However, I soon came to realize how my story wasn't much different from many of my fellow peers who grew up on their family's farms.
At the University of Illinois there are 2,700 students in the College of ACES. That is a large amount of students pursuing a degree in agriculture, and only at one university. The increase in enrollment for agriculture majors has skyrocketed, making the job market very competitive. This is a motivating factor for a student in agriculture to always work hard.
Furthermore, the community of students in ag is remarkable. I have met some of the brightest minds and caring individuals during my time at school. The ag clubs and organizations on campus open their doors and teach others about all the facets of agriculture - a job taken very seriously by those involved. Agriculture students are willing to help and teach whenever prompted. It's a place where you can feel welcomed and at home, a key factor behind my decision to stay in agriculture.
I believe having an education in agriculture is important because our impending population growth - every agricultural career has an effect on the food supply chain. Growth in technology and innovation for agriculture is imperative. By recruiting young and creative minds to our field, we increase our odds of success for our future generations.