Misconceptions About Agriculture: All Farmers are Rich

As a young child, you dream as to what you want to be when you grow up, and at a young age some of these dreams can be quite outlandish. There are the plausible aspirations such as to be a cop or a fireman, or perhaps even a doctor. Of course there are also the crazy ones like wanting to be a dragon or the color blue, I’m guilty too as I wanted to be the blue power ranger (which eventually I learned the hard way that I could not be the blue power ranger.) One profession that I did not hear really as a child from any of my peers when that question was asked was the desire for someone to become a farmer. This of course may have to do with my geographical position as I live in the second biggest city in the United States. However we did of course learn briefly about farmers and generally what they do, yet never did I hear that they earned lots of money, in fact we were told that most farmers did not make much money at all. So why is it that it is actually a common misconception that all farmers are rich. This is pretty shocking to me so we are going to look at this in more detail.

In all actuality, farming is not a career path recommended for those wanting to become millionaires, or even to become fairly wealthy. If this is what you desire in a lifestyle, then farming is not for you. This is not to say that there aren’t wealthy farmers, saying that would simply be not true in the slightest. Yet at the same time the majority of farmers do the job for more of a noble cause, because they love the lifestyle and the idea of producing food for thousands, even millions of people and in essence feeding them. To further reiterate this point I reference Matthew J. Lohr, Commissioner from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. He states this, “In Virginia it’s usually more like, “I hope I can make a decent living for my family.” If your goal is to get rich, frankly, there are many ways to accomplish that goal that are easier and quicker than getting rich through agriculture. We do have some wealthy farmers in Virginia, and I am proud of them. But even among those who are wealthy, I think the motivators for farmers tend to be of a more noble nature. We farm because we love it or because we love the lifestyle or we think it’s a good way to raise our children. We may farm out of a deep-seated desire to help, to make a positive difference in the world. Or we simply may realize that farming is not only the world’s oldest profession, but that it is the only one that is truly necessary. Bottom line, when we can’t feed ourselves, nothing else matters because we will be dead in four or five days.” (www.vdacs.virginia.gov, 2013)

From this quote we understand that being a farmer is not a position of wealth, but a position of nobility. Farmers are committed to serving us and providing food for our tables so we may eat. As Mr. Lohr stated “without that food we’d be dead in four or five days”, and this is true. Farmers don’t make a whole heck of a lot of money, but the difference that they make on our society is unimaginable. So there you have it, another one of those false misconceptions about agriculture, debunked.

Sources: http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/news/releases-b/031413agwk.shtml


Its interesting to think about truly how many people there are in this world, the number is quite remarkable, Do you know what it is? Its “7.125 billion people” (Syngenta.com, 2013). No, not million, billion, that’s pretty remarkable if you ask me. Then we think about how ever single one of those people is different in their own specific way, yet we still know that the they belong to either a group or society that shares several things in common with them. I like to think of it this way, though there are so many people on earth and they are all different, they all have unique personalities, and though these personalities are unique to them they also fit in specific personality groups that identify similar traits in all of them. Some believe of course that personality test are all mumbo jumbo, but I beg to differ.

During my time this semester while taking a class that for the first time exposes my to agriculture, I knew for sure it wasn’t for me. Though I thought this, I began to realize just how broad and interesting the field was. It wasn’t just all about planting crops, feeding the pigs, and milking the cows. Yes this perception may perhaps be quite ignorant, but in my defense I was born and raised in the second largest city in the United States. Anyway, unbeknownst to me agriculture involved all kinds of things that I had no idea it even touched upon. It involves of course farming, which is a major component, but also advertising, marketing, public relations, and even aspects of journalism etc. You can see some more professions in the field of agriculture here. Finally I understood that even though I feel that I have a very exuberant and fun personality, I could tie myself into the field of agriculture when I though that my personality did not pair well with this career path.

I know what you are saying, “wow those first two paragraphs could not be more different, what is he trying to say?” Onto you I say, do not worry; I am about to tie them together right now. As stated previously I mentioned something called a personality test, and when I say this I am talking about one in particular; “The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator”, which I highly encourage you to research. Recently in class we took an abbreviated form of this test and our professor revealed the results to us aloud and asked if we thought this personality was accurate or not. Being of course skeptical I wasn’t exactly sure how legitimate this test was or if it truly worked. So we had two choices for each letter of a specific personality and I ended up with ESFP, the four letters being Extroversion, Sensing, Feeling, and Perceiving. After we all came up with our four letters our professor began to go through the sixteen different personalities and describe what they entailed to students who raised their hands for the ones that they got. Finally my professor came to ESFP, and I was the only one amongst my peers who raised their hands. The results of the personality test astounded me, I felt as if this test had completely pinpointed exactly what my personality was like. Some details included exuberance, loving life, making work fun, enjoying working with other, and watching three plus hours of television a day, the last being extremely accurate. Fitiaspoor created a wonderful piece in her blog depicting the ESFP personality traits in depth, which out can check out here. One other thing that I found quite interesting is that with all the individuals in my class, I was the only ESFP among them, and I felt unique and special as an individual. Yet at the same time I felt as If I was part of a specific society shared with those who have the some personality type as myself.

Finally, tying this all into agriculture I began to realize as I take my personality type and the professions in this field we’ve learned about, that I do have a place in agriculture. I’m so interested in working with people; with this I can pursue a career in agriculture with a focus in advertising or public relations. I also love to write, and love to make writing fun so now I can work in the realm of Agricultural Communications. A career path I’d never even considered now holds all kinds of opportunities for me, and my eyes have been opened to this due to the fact that I see my personality, and more importantly myself in all these professions.

Sources: http://www.syngenta.com/global/corporate/en/goodgrowthplan/challenges/Pages/challenges.aspx?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_content=challenges&utm_campaign=good-growth-plan&gclid=CjwKEAiA4rujBRDD7IG_wOPytXkSJACTMkgasgXuQOU5fP_1Sthp1GSy39lUTMqEukSsbFnBbytIpBoC4QLw_wcB