Nicole Wolken, a senior at Rantoul Township High School and FFA Chapter President, sits down with Agrible’s Chandler Bruns, for an interview. Wolken's chapter hosted an Ag Expo event, and this is her fourth year helping with it. At Agrible, we build products, like Morning Farm Report, to help growers solve the tough problems they face on the farm every day. We also work to ensure future ag leaders have the tools they need to succeed. So, we wanted to hear more about Wolken's views on the future of agriculture, and what problems the next generation hopes to solve.
What are 1-2 big challenges your generation will face in agriculture?
“Society’s perception of agriculture is going to be a big challenge. I feel like people don’t see the huge role that agriculture plays. Society lacks an appreciation for what agriculture is and provides them. Agriculturalists are engineers, scientists, teachers and leaders and society doesn’t recognize that.” Wolken says.
What practices on your FFA plot is the chapter implementing to be good stewards of the land?
“We practice no-till on the soil. We also monitor nitrogen use to insure that we aren’t over or under fertilizing.”
What is the biggest takeaway from today's event for the Rantoul FFA chapter?
“The biggest takeaway is hearing a child talk about what they learned last year during the event. It means that we made an impact on the child by providing them with agricultural knowledge.”
How would you define today as a success (for yourself and/or future generations)?
“For myself, I want to do a job that I am happy doing. No matter what you are doing, if you are happy doing it and you are helping something greater than yourself, then that’s success. So for today, I am happy to be teaching agriculture to kids.”
Why is it important to teach future generations about agriculture?
“We all need to eat! It’s important to teach younger generations because of our outstanding population growth we are expected to experience. Our younger generation is going to be leading that effort, and the more support we can provide them now, the better off they can be when it's their turn.”