Growing up I always felt the absence of my dad during seeding, haying, and harvest. It made me sad. Even though I knew he was working those long, crazy hours to provide for us. And I knew that he tried hard to make as much time for us as he could during these busy times. It was tough. But, because I grew up with my dad and step dad, who are part of agriculture, I had the opportunity to know: where my food came from, the rewards of hard work, and the strength of a family- a team.
After spending a few years farming with my step dad, and of taking more interest and time working cattle with my dad, I no longer feel sad or their absence. Instead, I am filled with gratitude and appreciation for how much farmers and ranchers need to know about their crops and livestock. There are hundreds of diseases, chemicals, breeds, and products out there. And they know almost all of them. On top of that they are mechanics, plumbers, carpenters, engineers, and much more; their skills truly are endless.
So why are farmers and ranchers so underappreciated? Why do they work around the clock to provide products for the world? They provide for people who shame them, and their processes and/or products, who miscommunicate the facts and are unmotivated to educate themselves. Why? Why do they do what they do? One word. Passion. The men and women in agriculture have this admirable passion for what they do. They create a true lifestyle out of their “job”, something I have yet to see from any other occupation.
I chose the path of an educator. But surely I will never forget, or leave behind, the lifestyle that has shaped who I am. It is my utmost goal to help our youth understand the facts, the hard work, and the passion behind agriculture in our local communities. I hope to give my students the opportunity to watch plants and animals grow in my classroom. To learn agriculture through their subjects: science, health, history/ social studies, math, art and English language art. Because in agriculture we need, and use, all of these skills daily. I want my students to understand that our local farmers and ranchers are heroes, just as much as our doctors, actors, and sports stars. I want to help children ignite their passions by learning through experience about their interests.
Imagine with me, youth with a passion. Youth with a drive to work hard. A generation who educates themselves through experience before judging other, before preaching what they think they know. I hope to empower our youth in rural Saskatchewan to embrace agriculture and all that it has to offer their families, community, and world. I look forward to bringing agriculture into my classroom.