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 restaurant.

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 out.

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 list.

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 and world.

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 lumber.

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.