Monday, March 5, 2012

Roots in Agriculutre

               “I now declare this Convention adjourned,” and that was it. That started what has been a whirlwind of a year as a state officer of the Texas FFA Association. I’ve met people all across Texas and the nation, had the privilege to wear the blue and gold jacket one more time, but what has been even more exciting is that I have had the chance to promote an industry and way of life that has been near and dear to my heart for my entire life, agriculture.

                When my family and I lived in Ericksdahl, Texas, (a small Swedish community in West Texas) my dad was a farmer. He grew cotton, wheat and raised cattle on land that was owned by himself and his mother and father. He worked the long days that start before sunrise and end well after sunset, but no matter what we always had a roof over our heads and food on the table. No, it was not a glamorous lifestyle, we did not have a fancy house, truck or television, but we were happy with what we had. Then in 1997 we all had endured one of the, “discomforts of agricultural life.” There was a drought that ran from about 1995-1997, my grandfather passed away a few years before that and a lower than normal cotton and wheat crop made my father rethink his career. That year he started to work as a crop insurance adjuster, traveling all over the Great Plains adjusting wheat crops for Arm Tech, AgNet and USDA. Then after seeing a glimpse of the insurance side of farming he decided to try his hand at that, so he and two other individuals started a crop insurance company called AgCrop located in Stamford, Texas, at an old grain elevator and storage facility. They grew their business so that it now reaches from Brownsville, Texas, to Erick, Oklahoma, and El Paso to Texarkana. He’s been an insurance agent for 14 years now and has shown me what it truly means to work and live by agriculture even though it can be extremely unpredictable.

                Living through not only the joys, but the discomforts of agriculture is why I believe I have made it nearly full circle in coming to Texas A&M to study Agricultural Systems Management and even become a Texas FFA State Officer. I have figured out through these hardships, that I have the upmost respect and passion for agriculture. Most people go after things that bring fame, that are glamorous or have an enticing appeal about them, but I love agriculture because it was not meant for the faint-hearted. Only from the things you cannot control will you receive the greatest reward. 

               After watching my dad be at the mercy of the weather and cultivate his livelihood with his own hands, did I then realize how awesome this profession was. Nothing in this world is as pure as growing a crop that will not only benefit you, but serve those around you as well. In Hebrews 13:16 we are told that we should, “...not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” What better way is there to serve your neighbor and give to a worthy cause than to feed and clothe them? That is truly why I wanted to be an FFA State Officer and be active in agriculture. I want to continue a culture that shows the true values of this country and the way we were supposed to live. 

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