What do you think of when you hear the word farmer? Maybe you thought of the stereotypical idea of a man wearing coveralls holding a pitchfork. Or maybe you thought of a selfless person dedicating their life to feeding the world and the generations to come. When I hear the word farmer, so many different professions come to mind. Professions carried on behind the scenes that the rest of the world doesn’t always see.
1. Veterinarians. For farmers with livestock, becoming a veterinarian is not an option, it’s a requirement for the job. Beyond typical care requirements (i.e. vaccinations, wound treatments, health maintenance), many livestock farmers manage more serious tasks such as delivering calves and diagnosing health issues.
2. Mechanics. If a farmer goes an entire harvest or planting season without a breakdown, it’s a miracle. And through all the times they’ve tried fixing the issue themselves, there’s no doubt farmers could be considered experts in the field of mechanics.
3. Teachers. According to Illinois Farm Families, 97 percent of farms in the United States are owned by individuals, family partnerships or family corporations. This statistic alone shows that teaching younger generations has been an important aspect of the agricultural industry.
4. Meteorologists. Farmers have to know when conditions are right to plant, harvest, and fertilize crops. Everything depends on weather conditions, and no one has spent more time predicting mother nature than your average farmer.
5. Active Community Members. Farmers are not only invested in their land but in their community. Farmers often serve as active members on local school boards, township boards, livestock boards, and other organizations in their local communities.
The list goes on… Animal Nutritionists, Accountants, Financial Planners, Investment brokers, etc. But even with all the professions that farmers take on, being a proud member of a farming family will always be the most important hat.
I am thankful for the many hats that my dad wears as a farmer and for passing on his passion of being a part of a farming family.
“Frequently Asked Questions.” Illinois Agricultural Association, 2014. Retrieved from: http://www.illinoisfarmfamilies.org/faq.