Agriculture hasn't always been a part of my life. I was already 11 years old before my family and I decided to ditch the city lights in search of a farm to call home. It was only a short 4 months later when I met the love of my life; agriculture.
After a typical day in grade 6, I came home with a flyer from the local 4-H club. I thought it would be cool to own a cow and feed it up, and to be honest, my best friend Amy was joining, so I had to sign up.
My parents had always intended to purchase livestock on our newly acquired home, however they had a "5 year plan" to follow. My dad wanted to slowly invest in the farming business, as our farm had absolutely no facilities for any type of farm, especially a livestock operation. It took quite a bit of arm twisting, but I finally convinced my parents to let me join the 4-H club.
After signing up, the building began. My dad and grandfather set out one weekend to build a shelter and a corral. They rented a hand held auger and began digging. (It would be a year later when they discovered the post pounder).
After the facilities were built, the hunt for a suitable calf was on. I contacted a local Charolais breeder and explained my situation. He was more then willing to help me out, as he was an avid believer in the 4-H program. He helped me learn the aspects of choosing the perfect animal, as well as taught me how to feed, even mixing extra feed for me. When show time came around, his son offered to teach me how to groom the animal.
When the show came, I had put in a ton of work in feeding, halter breaking and grooming my animal. I was scared to go into the ring against many veterans of the show ring, but I held my head up. The show ring went smoothly, and suddenly the judge slapped my calf on the back! I thought, "what the heck?? Why are you slapping my calf? It did nothing to you!" He then proceeded to shake my hand and congratulate me on my job well done. I had achieved the highest honor of the ring, Grand Champion Steer.
It was then that I fell in love with the agriculture industry. Putting in a years worth of work, and then having something to show for it, was an amazing feeling, and I could never let go of it.
I have begun my career in the agriculture industry by studying Animal Science (AST) at Lakeland College, in the hopes of becoming a Livestock Nutrition Specialist. I will also be completing my AgBusiness diploma at Lakeland College after completing the AST program. I am working for the Federated Co-operatives as an Agro Student Development Trainee for the summer. I am enjoying the work so far, and can not wait to see what else is in store.
I decided to begin this blog in hopes of raising awareness to those who do not realize how huge agriculture really is. I recently asked a friends daughter, where do eggs come from? In hopes of starting a "chicken and egg" debate, to which she had replied "the store". Unfortunately, she wasn't trying to be a smartie pants, she did not know an egg came from a chicken. That began me thinking, how many people truely believe that eggs are manufactured? I hope I can help educate at least a few people, and my job will be done.
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