The following blog is a guest post provided by Hannah Mayo, a junior Agribusiness major at the University of Mount Olive. Mayo is from Smithfield and serves as the Vice Chair for the University’s Collegiate Young Farmer and Rancher Committee. The article is part of a series of blogs provided by UMO students.
Agriculture is a diverse field, it takes a lot of people and many different jobs to make agriculture successful in feeding the world. It is important that many industries work together, which is why it is all connected. The networks that exist in the field of agriculture are why we have dependable and convenient food sources. Agriculture touches all of us in our daily lives.
My family raises chickens and beef cattle. My sister and her husband grow row crops such as sorghum, wheat, and soybeans. One example of the connection in agriculture on my sister’s farm involves the combine that they use to harvest soybeans in the fall. The combine harvester is manufactured and engineered to harvest grain with minimal waste. The farmer depends on the machine to work properly to complete the season’s harvest. Many times, this same combine is driving down the road to harvest the next field, with a line of impatient drivers following it. Maybe someone is behind the combine is in a rush to get to the grocery store or other destination.
Think about the person that is rushing and complaining because they got behind a slow combine and their trip to buy food for their family is delayed. Little do they know that combine is part of the reason they have available food for their family – it is all connected! This farmer is harvesting soybeans that may be used for livestock feed. This feed could be used for chickens, hogs, or turkeys. It is ironic that the person going to the grocery store is likely going to pick up chicken or other protein source to feed their family. Without the combine that is seen as a nuisance, the grocery store would not have any chicken to sell, because the chicken had to be fed the soybeans to make it to the grocery shelf.
Consumers having access to a safe and convenient food supply because that combine was on the road is a valuable privilege and shows just how connected all of the world around us really is.
Farmers work hard in this connected agricultural industry. Technology and agriculture have advanced over the years to make producing food easier and more efficient than ever before, but one thing remains the same – the farmer. The farmer cares about delivering quality food to the consumer, they work constantly to make sure that they do their part. Farmers depend on many other connections such as markets, equipment, labor, but most importantly they depend on the consumer to trust in the farmer. ‘
Thank you for being a great consumer and supporting agriculture. It is important for all of us to realize how consumers and farmers are dependent on one another if we want to continue to have the safe, convenient and affordable food supply that we all so enjoy. It is amazing when we really stop to think about it how so many things can be traced back together in agriculture. It may be difficult to recognize these connections, but knowing that the farmer each and every day works hard for you, the consumer, is a great way to start. Remember next time you get behind farm equipment, that it is all connected! Take a moment to appreciate the hard work that goes into making sure that your next meal is possible through the connections of agriculture.