There are all kinds of careers, businesses and industries to be a part of. We guide younger generations, as someone perhaps guided you, into all kinds of jobs with varying degrees of profitability.
Most everyone has studied certain skills that we enjoy and have been drawn to different occupations that will pay the bills and leaves us some amount of discretionary income to pursue our hobbies and entertainment.
We typically live at one residence and drive daily to our place of work where we build, we create, and we serve others in exchange for payment.
Imagine deciding that your business would be to grow food. Food that you would sell to others to consume. Your “shop” would be a field, pasture, orchard, or maybe greenhouses.
You would study the inputs of time, equipment, space, and, most importantly, the expertise needed. Most everyone I know in this field has at least a large portion of their operation on the same property as their home. Stepping out your back door, you don’t see what the neighbors are doing. You would see barns and your expansive work space. Its tough to take a break from your employment because the view from every window and each porch reminds you of tasks to be addressed.
You watch the weather forecast intently. You are not as concerned about a sunny weekend as you are the rain. Too little and, yes, too much rain can greatly affect your work.
You know the temperature patterns. You understand the difference between 33 degrees F and 28 degrees F are vastly more important than any other range of temperatures. You are only too aware that a few days below 28 F can ruin a fruit crop that you been preparing for all year.
You been watching the climate change season after season long before climate change was in vogue.
You are acutely aware that the soil which yields production for harvest or forage for livestock is one of your most valuable assets. You build, amend and manipulate the ground so that it provides a marketable product during your time of stewardship and for generations to come.
You greatly desire clean, pest-free plants and soil. You probably know the names of and are too familiar with the diseases that can rot and the insects that can consume forage for livestock or produce for the table.
You weigh all these factors into producing a healthy, safe product to sell. You also must watch for trends that will that economically will fare well in the marketplace, allowing you to pay the bills and leave you some amount of discretionary income.
Yet there will always be the one who grows nothing more than an aloe vera plant but has watched a Netflix documentary and now complains that you seek to destroy the environment.
Your industry is relied upon by every living person. Whatever you grow is also grown by others equally as skilled as you a thousand miles away. They can often be cheaper than you in your own local economy than what you have been able to produce it for.
If you want to be competitive in this chosen vocation, you’ve got to be a scientist, weather forecaster, marketer, mechanic, and have a love of the land you tend.
And if you do all this in this global industry, you may very well be granted the noble title of farmer or rancher.
On Monday, Aug 20, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Angelina County will be holding a program called “Path to the Plate”. We’ll be highlighting a local farmer, demonstrating and preparing some nutritious meals, and busting some myths about food production. The evening starts at 6:30 pm. Cost is $10 per person.
- Ezra McMullin is a content and social media producer at MSGPR and attends Angelina College. He unwinds after a long day by playing XBox, telling himself he'll just play one more level before bed.