You Might Be an Agriculture Student…

By: Alison Bos, Graduate Student in the William H. Darr School of Agriculture at Missouri State University

Some of the MSU Ag staff and students with the governor of Missouri.

Some of the MSU Ag staff and students with the governor of Missouri.

Being an agriculture student in college for going on six years now, as well as being that “ag girl” during my four years of high school, I have noticed there are some traits that truly set agriculture students apart. My goal here is not to be stereotypical by any means. My imagesCAJ0LRTUgoal is to- 1) allow readers to realize that agriculture students, just like farm kids, have a unique way of life that is quite different from others; and 2) to allow former, current and future agriculture students to read this and smile because they know it is true.

I do not want to take away anything from those of you who maybe did not seek degrees in agriculture or were not involved in FFA. I am sure you have had positive experiences in your area of study, and your area of study has provided you with similar opportunities. If that is the case, share your experiences! I am simply sharing mine.

Currently, there is an upward trend in students seeking degrees in agriculture. (http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/industries/food/story/2012-08-01/agriculture-industry-studies-surge/56809406/1) Also, “today, there are 579,678 FFA members, aged 12‒21, in 7,570 chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands” (www.ffa.org). Bottom line is that there are a lot of agriculture students out there.

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Billings, Missouri FFA Chapter in Indianapolis, Indiana during the 2009 National FFA Convention

Before I go into my list, I do want to spend some time praising all of you who dedicated your time to furthering your agricultural education in high school and/or college. Agriculture is definitely an underappreciated and misinterpreted industry that many have very false perceptions about. There’s the typical stereotypes about “agriculture people” out there that sometimes brings along times when you are given a hard time about being an ag student. The most important reason, however, is that agriculture feeds the world. For those of us who have and/or are devoting time in becoming more educated within the agriculture industry, we truly are important. You see, agriculture students understand. We “get it.” Less than two percent of the population is involved in production agriculture; therefore it is crucial for people to have a strong knowledge about agriculture in general. So from this agriculture student to you all- thank you for making the decision to choose agriculture! There is no doubt that we really are important.

Okay, back to the “You Might be an Agriculture Student” list. Like I mentioned before, feel free to laugh and smile as you read these because I guarantee that you will realize they are true.1536560_10202649286975382_2068401974_n

(Also, feel free to read “you might be an agriculture student” in the same way Jeff Foxworthy says “you might be a redneck.”)

Okay, let’s start with the obvious-

  • When you talk about a commercial dedicated to farmers aired during the Super Bowl more than the game itself, you might be an agriculture student.
  • When conversations consist mainly of your livestock, your horses, your farm, your equipment, etc. instead of the game last night or the most current fashion trends, you might be an agriculture student.
  • There are two occasions by which you notice a sharp decline of students in attendance and nobody can get upset about it. These occasions are the first week of gun deer hunting season and the National FFA Convention. Yes, you might be an agriculture student.
  • When you can wear camo, your “barn clothes”, boots, spurs and coveralls and have no shame. You might be an agriculture student.
  • When you see someone else in the clothing items mentioned above in another building or department on campus and you get a warm, fuzzy feeling because you think, “look, there is someone like me,” you might be an agriculture student. 536006_10150750952753524_1603440227_n
  • When you can tell what vehicles belong to ag students- examples: bale spikes on a truck, feed in the back, stickers of their favorite farm equipment company plastered over the rear glass window/bumper, manure/mud on vehicles, just to name a few- you might be an agriculture student.
  • When dirt and mud on floors from dirty boots is considered normal and not disgusting, you might be an agriculture student.
  • When you can miss class because your horse is sick, cow is calving or other similar reason and your agriculture teacher/professor completely understands, you might be an agriculture student.
  • When examples of “fun” activities to go do with your fellow aggie friends include bonfires, haunted corn mazes, concerts, conventions, backroading, livestock/horse shows, Farm Fests, etc., you might be an agriculture student.
  • When agriculture class field trips consists of going to places like wastewater plants, cattle A.I. (artificial insemination) facilities, local farms, greenhouses, grocery stores, recycling centers and more, then you might be an agriculture student. 576485_10150777224030699_1584263415_n
  • You are sitting in class and just cannot wait for the opportunity to share a past experience, the way you do things on your farm, something you have endured with one of your animals, or the excited feeling you get when a professor uses you and/or your farm as an example, you might be an agriculture student.
  • On most days, you will walk by someone in the agriculture building playing music. 99% of the time, it is country and you feel right at home, then you might be an agriculture student.
  • In most cases, there will be an area where “everyone” hangs out whether it be a commons area or a computer lab. (For my MSU people, the Student Activities Room) Here, instead of studying, you talk, sing, teach each other how to two-step, play spades, watch YouTube videos, look at Craigslist, look through tractor magazines, look at cattle sale catalogs and much, much more, then you might be in agriculture student.
  • When you walk in an agriculture classroom or agriculture building and think, “Thank goodness, I am right where I need to be…I feel right at home,” (just like the TV show Cheers, everybody knows your name) you might be an agriculture student.
  • If you and your friends have looked at Animal Crackers and tried to “judge” them like you would in an FFA judging contest to determine what kind of animal they are, you might be an agriculture student.  183832_10151251696515813_1151846823_n

Here’s a few more, but these are the less obvious. These are the ones that I have personally experienced in the William H. Darr School of Agriculture at Missouri State University. I have a feeling that most agriculture students all over the world feel the same way at their school. We truly are lucky to study something that is so important that fuels a passion within us that cannot be described by words.

  • Being around people who have a similar interest, a similar background and/or a similar passion of agriculture like you do, and you feel like you a right where you belong, then you are lucky enough to be an agriculture student.
  • The passion for agriculture your professors/teachers have inspires you. They make you want to learn more about the industry. They11269_1293562981202_5763305_n understand you are agriculture’s future, and they want to make sure you know how important you are. The cool thing is that your professor/teacher will do anything to help you and you believe without a doubt that you are surrounded by the best faculty at your school, then you are lucky enough to be an agriculture student.
  • You value your education and you understand your importance. Ultimately, you have a strong sense of pride because you will be responsible for the feeding the world, you are lucky enough to be an agriculture student.
  • Not only are you surrounded by people in agriculture, but you also have the opportunity to join student organizations that are ag based linking you to people who have similar interests as you (which creates long-lasting friendships), you are lucky enough to be an agriculture student. 71486_10200886065815955_913961266_n
  • You are surrounded by good, down-to-earth people who are willing to help you even if they do not necessarily know you. A group of students going to lunch will see you sitting at a table and go, “Hey we are going to lunch, you want to join?” You honestly never feel alone because there always seems someone there to talk to or study with, then you are lucky enough to be an agriculture student.
  • Let’s be honest. Days there are tests, early morning classes, 3-hour long lectures, etc., and you aren’t necessarily happy about it, BUT you still go and do  not totally dread it because you are excited to see friends and classmates, then you are lucky enough to be an agriculture student.
  • When you talk to students from other departments and you hear them say, “Man, I wish we had that,” or “I am so jealous because1080215_10201553747747586_398289611_n of everything you get to do,” then you are lucky enough to be an agriculture student.
  • You have the opportunity to participate in so many things, meet so many friends that you will keep for years and are beyond satisfied with your education so much that you inspire those younger than you to study agriculture too, then you are lucky enough to be an agriculture student.
  • It does not matter how many years pass, you can still recall memories from “way back when.” When you see someone from school a number of years later, you and talk to them and reminisce (“Remember that time when Dr. ________…” “Remember when we went to the National FFA Convention…” “Remember when…”) You don’t forget and your friends don’t either and you realize that those were some of the best days of your life, then you are lucky enough to be an agriculture student.
  • Yes, there will be people who will stereotype you, give you a hard time, make false judgments, etc., but you really do not care because you understand your value and importance, then you are lucky enough to be an agriculture student.
  •  I know I have kind of said this before, but you know your passion and you know your place. You know you are “home” and right where you need to be. You understand your are important, and you understand how important agriculture is. 222300_1029355496180_6215_n You “get it.” You have pride in what you do, and you are never afraid to share your experience being an agriculture student. You know you are lucky and are a part of a huge family. You understand your worth and know you are going to play a huge role in the future. I cannot stress this enough-

YOU ARE LUCKY ENOUGH TO BE AN AGRICULTURE STUDENT!

This list truly could go on and on. I feel so blessed to have been an “ag kid,” all throughout high school and college. From my FFA days at Billings High School to my college days as an aggie at Missouri State University, I am so thankful for the experiences that agriculture has provided. I am thankful for the people I have met. I am thankful for being a part of an industry that feeds the world.  Are you?

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I hope this has allowed some of you to go down memory lane or some of you to realize how lucky you were to have been an agriculture student. For those who may not be agriculture students, I hope this gives you an insight to what it is like. I will be the first to admit that I am biased; however I just want to share just how proud I am to be an agriculture student!

If this touches you or you can relate to this, share it! Let people know how proud you are to be a student in agriculture whether it has been in FFA and/or in college. We are lucky. We are proud. We are aggies.

Until next time, thank you and God Bless You All!

~Ali 1186043_10201802419644228_460070482_n

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Comments

  1. John hopkins. '74 MSU WC Ag major says:

    Wow, impressive!

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