What a love for agriculture looks like

If you’ve followed the world of agriculture in social media the last few days,  your probably aware of a news article that named a degree in agriculture the #1 most useless degree, and for good measure added animal science at #4.  Unsurprisingly this caused quite an uproar in the ag community.  Probably the easiest place to see this is a brand new, two-day old Facebook page that is approaching 4,000 likes.  That may be small numbers from a pop culture perspective, but I think I can say with a fair amount of confidence that is the fastest growing ag-focused page ever.

So there’s certianly a lot of pent-up emotion here.  There’s a LOT of people very passionate about this topic.  I’ve mentioned that my personal education stopped at high school, so I don’t claim to fully understand all the feeling.  A phone call with Zach Hunnicutt this morning opened a big door of understanding for me.  This thought:  So many of the best and brightest of agriculture’s young people have been told for years and years that if they really want to be successful, if they really want a good job, they are going to have to leave the world they know, in search of greener pastures.  That’s a common mentality that exists out there.  In spite of that, a lot of young men and women have stuck with their heart, stayed with what they loved, stayed in agriculture and are either working towards or have an agriculture degree.

In case you missed it, things are pretty good in agriculture right now, especially in crop production.  Prices are high, profits are up for many.  It’s one of the easier sectors of the economy to find a job in.  And yet, in spite of that, some Yahoo just said a degree in agriculture is the most useless. Do you really think your enough of a saint to just smile and say, “Nice article sir, good day to you”.  Well, I have no problem admitting I probably wouldn’t be.

For me, I’m most impressed with the rather level headed response I’ve seen to such a statement.  This isn’t about PR sound bytes, or choosing the right words, this is about the honest, yet incredibly strong and emotional response many who represent the very future of agriculture feel.  It has nothing to do with whatever facts went into the article, it has everything to do with the reality that someone just took what you love, where your heart is, where you quite likely invested tens of thousands of dollars and called it useless!

Is there overdone emotion from those in ag?  I’m sure there is..   Do I care, absolutely not in the slightest.  You see, social media, if we really believe its real enough to share the ag story, has to be real enough to allow for real people as well.  Real people have feelings, real people feel attacked, and real people do NOT respond like fake, programmed robots!  Stepping back and looking at it all, as I review all I see online, as well as the offline response I’m aware of as well, I couldn’t be happier to be a part of this community!


3 responses to this post.

  1. I see so many sides to this…. I’m pretty sure my journalism degrees are considered useless by most of America most days. I disagree. Of course, I have friends with the same degrees who have never used them and went into things like finance instead. It can be tough to take such criticism, especially in the public eye. Glad people are doing so much good with the energy. if you haven’t seen Will Gilmer’s latest video, I feel like I have to share it.


  2. Interesting thoughts Darin. I to disagree with the writer of this article and the studies that proceeded it. What I noticed though is that they were taking an angle that individuals go to college for the sole reason of getting a job and in creasing their pay scale. This is not so true in agriculture, most individuals studying ag ate passionate about their chosen field and wish to increase their knowledge so they are better at their job in the future, not necessarily their pay scale.

    I believe a lot of good came from the agriculture community because of this post. I did see a few comments that were very harsh and disconnecting with those outside of agriculture by individuals that are trying to make a career out of teaching others how to bridge the gap between rural and urban America. There is nothing wrong with responding this way, but I find it odd that those that claim they are trying to bridge a gap decide so often to preach to the choir instead.

    On the other hand, this article was a great thing for agriculture degrees if you believe in the saying that any publicity is good publicity ;).


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