For the Love of Agriculture

Sunrise in the field

I know I’m fortunate to find my passion early in life. I never knew I would feel this much for a career option. I see people every day fighting their jobs and complaining about what they chose to do when they were younger. I knew from the very beginning, I would never feel like that about my choice. I may not know where I am going just yet but I do know where I’ll end up.

Agriculture. We can all think of some meaning or associate words for this wide range term. What does it mean to you? When most think of the word, they think farmer or rancher. But today this word can be described in so many other ways. It has expanded its meaning over the years and quite frankly hasn’t stopped. When most think of agriculture, they think of a farmer riding around in a tractor or a rancher running around with cattle. But if most opened their eyes, agriculture is everywhere in our everyday lives. According to Webster Dictionary the word agriculture is defined as “the science, art, or practice of cultivating the soil, producing crops, and raising livestock and in varying degrees the preparation and marketing of the resulting products”.

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If someone were to walk up to a student, would anyone hear that come out of their mouth? Not likely. It all holds a different meaning to all of us, often more personal. What can agriculture mean and why do I want to be involved?

When I think of agriculture, I think of dedication and hard work. I think of passion and love. I think of patience and struggles. I think of something that is worth every bit of my sweat and tears. I think of individuals who know the land and animals they raise. I see brave men and women who could have picked so many other things to become but they chose the hard path but the most beautiful one at that.

When I think of agriculture I think of years of tradition and many generations of families coming together to produce for the world. I do not limit my definition to one part of agriculture nor one component.

Wanting to be involved in agriculture isn’t as simple as it sounds. What is it going to take for students who want to be involved in agriculture to get there?

RainbowWanting to be a part of agriculture from the perspective of a student is not an easy task. It is going to take a lot of time, hard work and dedication. It is going to take a firing passion deep inside to get up every morning and know the responsibilities of the industry we want to be a part of. We have to want to learn and never stop learning. Because every day is a new learning opportunity and that never ends.   It definitely isn’t a desk job where there are the same tasks to do day in and day out. The days vary from calving mothers losing their babies or a deadline of planting seed but the wind won’t die down. Our minds have to be open to new ways of doing anything. Sitting on the edge of the seat constantly to tackle anything that comes around the corner. Most of all, there is a need for our values and morals to take us to the next step. Raised with dedication in our veins and hard work on our hands. A brain wanting to be taught about the ways of nature and life. It’ll take optimism and the ability to see potential. To look at a plot of land and see a future within its soil. It is choosing to be optimistic in -20 degree weather and choosing to keep going when failure is high. Standing tall and always pushing forward comes with the job. This path is going to take more than just a wanting to be a part this great industry. It’s going to take a feeling of not wanting to do anything else for fear of not following your heart. When it comes down to choosing this life, we are going to have to feel it in the sweat we let off in the hot sun & still not want to be anywhere else. We are going to have to feel it when our pockets don’t show productivity or when the rain doesn’t come often enough. At the end of the day, there is a need for a grateful heart knowing that we are blessed to be a part of such a wonderful life and that we are given the chance to follow our hearts to agriculture. Coming into this we have to know that nothing is going to be easy and still not wanting anything more. We are a seed planted under pressure but still producing to the best of our ability.

For many reasons I chose the pursuit of a career in agriculture but my most honest statement is this; I chose this career path for the reason that I am so desperately in love with it. How can someone not be in love with the fresh air and smell of alfalfa? The early morning and the late nights? How can someone not want to be involved in the birth of beautiful creatures? We are the hands that can help the natural processes of our world. For the love of agriculture and America, I will raise my family to love this beautiful and magnificent world no matter what the future holds.

Mikaila MastrofiniMikaila Mastrofini is a student pursuing a career in agriculture at the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls, Idaho. She has been involved in agriculture since she was a very young girl, and was involved in 4-H, showing sheep, horses & diary heifers. In high school she was actively involved in the FFA Organization, and acted as the Chapter President, Chapter Junior Advisor & District Secretary. She is now the Agriculture Club President and the College of Southern Idaho.