Day 13: Agricultural Opportunities at the University of Illinois

As I have said before, I am thankful for the opportunity to attend the University of Illinois. But I am also grateful for what this incredible university has to offer for students with an interest in agriculture. It’s a big transition moving from a small high school to a University with over 32,000 undergraduate students. One thing that helped make this transition easier was getting involved in the student clubs provided by the University. Continue reading

Day 12: GMOs: The Basics

Q: What are GMOs? 

A: GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism, which means that the organism has been genetically altered to obtain desirable characteristics.

Q: Why do we need GM crops?

A: Through the use of biotechnology, crops can be engineered so that they are resistant to diseases and pests, tolerate specific herbicides and harsh environmental pressures, and help farmers by increasing crop yields. GMOs positively impact the environment by decreasing the amount of pesticides and herbicides needed in order to grow a successful crop. According to U.N. statistics and forecasts, “the population of the world in 2000 was around 6.18 billion, but is expected to become 8.15 billion in 2025 (representing a 31.84% increase in just 25 years). Such population growth will of course result in an increase in the demand for food (AgBioWorld).” Are we producing enough food today to feed the world in 2025? The answer is no. It is essential that that agriculture industry continue to improve upon and utilize available technologies to increase yields and efficient crop production to meet the demands it faces today and in the future. Continue reading

Day 11: Farm Chores

The word “chores” had a whole different meaning to me growing up than it did to many of my friends. Chores in our family were done every single day, at least twice a day. They had to be finished before we added anything else to our plans. Sometimes chores took two hours, and sometimes they took longer. There was no allowance for finishing them or working extra hard because these were things that were expected. It was part of life on the farm. Continue reading

Day 10: My Mom

When I look back through the years, my mom was always there. She came to the rescue at every cattle show when the rest of us forgot something we needed back home, and she always made sure my hair was braided before I entered the show ring. She was always there to patch up the scrapes and treat the poison ivy that us kids always seemed to find. She was always there to remind my siblings and me that the house is not a war zone. And thankfully, she was there for us when we got in trouble at school and were too afraid to tell Dad. My mom was always there for us, and she always will be… No matter how much trouble my siblings and I tend to get into. Continue reading

Day 9: Many Hats of a Farmer

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. Continue reading