Growing up I’ve been presented with some extremely amazing opportunities.
- I learned to drive a truck at 4 years old in a freak lightening storm in the middle of the night, in a hay field. And it should be noted that not one bale got wet and I only drove over like 2 or 3. Hey I couldn’t see over the steering wheel at first. I had to sit on my dad’s hard hat.
- At 6 years old I could fly across the field in a Chevy S-10. I slid the seat all the way forward and could reach the break and gas. There’s good stories there too!
- At 12 years old I was driving a Standard Transmission like you were supposed to hitting the clutch and shifting gears.
- I learned to drive a tractor sometime around that same time frame.
- I learned the value of hard work and persistence.
- Animals get fed before you do.
- I’ve traveled all around Southwest Missouri, Columbia, Sedalia, Kansas City, Louisville, KY, Washington D.C., All over South Dakota, up to North Dakota, all over Oklahoma, Southeast Kansas, Northwest Arkansas, Northern Texas and even out of the country to Costa Rica.
So what? People get to do things like traveling all the time. Well mine is all thanks to Agriculture. I’ve traveled where Agriculture wasn’t involved yes, but because of agriculture and farm life I’ve had more opportunities and experiences than I could imagine.
Last Friday I got provided with another opportunity because of Agriculture but also because of blogging. The Missouri Women’s Bloggers teamed up with the Missouri Farm Bureau to do a Southwest Missouri Fall Farm Tour.
This is the second fall tour that the Missouri Women Bloggers and the Missouri Farm Bureau have done. The first was up around the Kansas City area.
I met Laurie through other means of blogging last summer, early fall and instantly fell in love with her blog, because well it’s about Agriculture. I pointed her in the direction of the Missouri Women Bloggers and she was actually able to attend the Fall Farm Tour in the Kansas City area. While they were on their tour, they were eating lunch and a local the Chief of Police in the town of Garden City posed the question, why tour farms? (If you want to read about that, you definitely should!)
Right around the time that they were doing their farm tour, I was sitting in my Advanced Technical and Professional Writing class and we were talking about fly over states (hello Midwest) and how people on the coasts wonder what is the point of the middle of the United States.
One of the kids in my class posed the question, “Do Farmers even have computers?” I was taken back by that question. I shouldn’t be surprised that people ask that question. I grew up on a farm and I have lived through a lot of stereotypes in my life. And it really does crack me up when people look at me and say they had me pegged all wrong.
All that to say I was really looking forward to this fall Farm tour. We went to three farms, one was crop production, the second was dairy production and the third was beef production.
While some of agriculture is based off of “old fashioned” practices, other parts of agriculture are based off current technology. (check out that combine above!) Sometimes a new technology or more information takes you back to the old practices and other times you move forward to try new things.
|Old records written and in a binder, new records in a computer program. Goes to show you that yes, farmers do have computers 🙂|
Farming is like any other business. You change according to the demands of society.
The slogan and phrase that gets used a lot is, “No Farmers, No Food.” That’s sad but true. There are those that say you don’t need farmers, just go to the store to get your food like everyone else, but where does that food come from? Farmers.
Here are a few farm facts about Missouri according to the 2012 Census of Agriculture:
- Missouri ranks #2 in the number of farms with over 99,000.
- Missouri has 28.3 million acres in farmland.
- The average Missouri farm is 285 acres.
- Missouri agriculture products retailed a value of around $9 Billion.
- 17% of Missouri farm operators are under 44 years of age.
- Missouri ranks in the top ten in categories of traditional agriculture production: livestock, grain crops, and forages from farm animal production.
- Missouri produces a wide variety of horticulture products.
- In Missouri – 50% of the agriculture receipts come from livestock and 50% from crops.
- One farmer today provides food and fiber for 154 people.
- The average American annually spends about 10% of their disposable income on food.
- About 2% of the U.S. population are farmers and ranchers.
- 97% of U.S. farms are operated by individuals, family partnerships, or family corporations.