I truly believe in the phrase that a job is a job, and if an
individual is out in the workplace pulling a paycheck to support themselves and
their family, no shame should be associated with, for example, flipping burgers
or mopping floors.
During college, I paid for my rent and textbooks by working
as a cashier at Fazoli’s, while also maintaining an internship with the
Department of Agricultural Communication at Purdue University and being a tutor
for a local high school student.
Although, I may not have gotten a full eight hours of sleep
every night, my bills were paid, I earned my bachelor’s degree and I got free
pans of lasagna and breadsticks whenever I worked the closing shift at the
While I have the utmost respect for anybody who holds a job
and gives it their all, whether they feel they are overqualified for the
position, there are a few career fields that I find very admirable, and those
employees forever will have my gratitude for the work they do, day in and day
Those include any individual serving in any branch of the
military, firefighters, policemen, preachers and farmers. I realize that some
people may not agree or understand why I have so much admiration for a
firefighter or a farmer and why a lawyer or a pediatrician isn’t on my
While both of those careers are quite respectable, the
answer is simple — military personnel, firefighters, policemen, preachers and
farmers perform their respective professions with the ideal that others and
their needs come before their own.
However, I know that every person who chooses to pursue a
job in each career path may not be perfect or in that line of work for the right
reasons, but usually for every Debbie Downer, there are at least 20 other people
who go above and beyond the job description to serve their community, country
On a more personal level, I have the opportunity of seeing
how farmers and those who are involved in the agriculture industry work every
day to produce food to put on an individual’s dinner table.
My job has allowed me to attend conferences, workshops,
field days and conventions on a variety of ag-related topics, ranging from the
use of cover crops and a no-till system in a farmer’s field to improve soil
health to forestry seminars and the value to the industry of those who harvest
For all the wonderful opportunities I have been blessed with
to see all the information that is available to new and beginning farmers to
help them, as well as those who have been farming for several years, I also have
had the occasional run-in with the producer who is set in their ways and refuses
any sort of change to their operation or even the idea of it.
What really bugs me is when a farmer like that attends an
educational workshop geared on that specific topic they don’t agree with and
interrupts the guest speaker whenever they can to voice their opinion.
I want to make it perfectly clear that I am not saying all
new advancements in farming and the agriculture sector are the next big thing to
happen to the industry. In fact, there are a couple of practices or newer
technologies that have been introduced recently that I don’t think are as novel
or efficient as the inventors and their sponsors believe.
But that doesn’t mean that I am going to sit in the middle
of a room full of my fellow colleagues and interrupt the speaker, who, chances
are, had to travel some distance to be there, and start arguing with him or her,
and insisting why their point would never work on my operation.
If you do feel strongly about your feelings on the
particular topic, wait until after the speaker is done presenting before the
group and then go have a one-on-one talk with them, where you can express your
thoughts and concerns.
This way, the individual is not as bombarded as they would
have been during the middle of their talk, and some of your peers who actually
were interested and believe in what the speaker is saying will not be mad at you
for interrupting the session.