By Grant and Denaca Moorse
YF&R Committee members
There was once a little boy that dreamed about nothing but being a farmer just like dad and grandpa.
This is my story as I’m sure it is with many other boys and girls growing up yearning to be just like mom and dad, raising livestock and growing crops on the family farm. But as most of us know, it’s not always rainbows and sunshine, and the world makes you take a second look at things. This was true for me as I’m sure it is for other young farmers and ranchers.
With working capital on most small family farms tightening, young farmers look to other jobs in the agricultural field. Let me tell you, they are out there and are in need of good, hard workers. These jobs can be quite enjoyable and rewarding. Whether you are in marketing, a seed salesman or an inventory and feed accounts manager like me, the jobs are there for the taking.
There are opportunities for those of us in agriculture to help both farm kids and nonfarm kids explore the opportunity of agricultural careers. According to a study by Purdue University there are 58,000 job opportunities available annually.
How can you help? You can encourage kids to become involved in 4-H and FFA. These students will be equipped to have a bright future for agriculture both on and off the farm.
One way we get kids involved in agriculture is by leasing animals to show at the fairs. A prime example is a young man that leased animals from us for a few years. Showing livestock sparked his interest with other things on the farm as well. He just graduated from high school and is going to college to earn a degree in engineering. But not just any engineering, he wants to specialize in agricultural engineering. Which is so exciting. To think that a few summers of working on the farm can make a non-farm kid fall in love with agriculture and want to make it better for future generations to come.
I also have the opportunity through my off farm job to work with 4-H and FFA students and their livestock projects by selling them feed and working through their project areas from a different perspective.
We encourage you to reach out to your local 4-H club, county 4-H or FFA Chapter. See if they would like you to assist a member with a project area, lease an animal, help a judging team etc.
By investing in our youth today, we can spark their interest in agriculture. In the end, they will continue to do great things for generations to come.