Our fine four-legged friends

By Caroline Jacobson
Northwest Field Representative

In my short tenure with NDFB, I’ve had a chance to explore country that I would have never been able or had reason to explore. In our great state, there exists quite a variety of farms and ranches. From humongous grain farms that have two combines parked in the shed, to the hobby ranch that has three cows in the backyard, I’ve found one common tie. And no, it is not the awesome Farm Bureau members who live there, but rather, their dogs.

After seeing them at 95 percent of the places I’ve visited, I don’t think I’m unique in my love for dogs. I’d be willing to bet many of you own them for this very reason, if not for the various other purposes they serve.

When trained well, they can be a useful tool. Maybe you utilize them to herd your livestock, or maybe you use them to alert you when visitors come in your yard. They might help you flush and retrieve birds in the fall, or just keep you company in the cab on those endless laps around the field. Whatever rationale a person uses to justify their four-legged friend, I think farm dogs are an integral part of any operation.

For some folks, a dog might not be a viable option, and that’s okay too. Personally, though, I feel very fortunate that I’ve had one around my whole life. I can’t imagine coming home and not seeing that tirelessly happy face and wet nose bounding right for me. I even went out to play a quick game of fetch prior to writing this, just for a little extra inspiration. Hopefully some of my corny ramblings rang true for you.

I look forward to meeting many more pups in my travels, and please, give Fido a scratch for me.

What does a 5th-grader think about ag?

Modern agriculture is a mystery to a lot of people.

Myths abound.

That’s why NDFB provides information about why farmers and ranchers do what they do for people who want to learn the truth.

It’s not easy. To be honest, sometimes it feels like the negative voices are louder and more convincing.

Then something like this comes across your desk; from a fifth-grade student mind you.

Ramsey - Molly Olson 2

And you do a happy dance. Then you have to share, because, well, doggone it, she’s in fifth grade. And she gets it!

What does agriculture mean to me?

By Molly Olson

Agriculture affects my life in a positive way. It makes my life better, and healthier. Agriculture provides me with food, drink, clothing along with other everyday uses. Some of the examples of food that I can get from agriculture are: meat from cows, pigs, lambs and chickens to name a few. Cows also provide me with milk to drink. Cows and pigs provide me with leather that can be made into gloves, shoes, belts, baseball mitts, footballs, basketballs, saddles, etc. We get cotton and wool for shirts, pants, socks, underwear, sheets for your bed and sweaters. Agriculture also provides fruit for us to eat. Agriculture is also important to insects and animals. Agriculture also uses and needs bees for pollination. Animals like deer can eat the corn as well as use it to hide in.

Agriculture plays a huge role to my state of North Dakota as well as many other states. My grandparents plant wheat, which is harvested to be made into flour, as well as durum which is used to make pasta. The flour is then used to make bread and cakes. They also plant hay crops to feed various livestock.

Agriculture creates a large amount of jobs; from the farmer/rancher who will need to hire people to help him/her, the equipment dealerships, to the diesel that the farmer will buy to run his/her equipment. The farmer/rancher will hire people to help plant and harvest the crops. The dealerships hire people to sell equipment, mechanics to fix the equipment and to the parts people. This helps the economy by providing the stores with food that is sold to you and me, the consumer. No matter what we choose to do with our lives, we would not be able to survive without agriculture.

Each and every day, each person on this earth has had to buy some product of agriculture to get them out the door for school or work. At breakfast this morning, all of my food came from some form of agriculture, along with the clothes that I have on, as well as our books, papers and pencils to use in school. As you can see, agriculture is extremely important to our survival.Ramsey - Molly Olson

Ramsey County Farm Bureau sponsored the “What does agriculture mean to me?” essay contest that produced this winning essay. The contest was open to all fifth and sixth grade students in Ramsey County. Molly won $50 from Ramsey County Farm Bureau for her efforts.

If there are more like Molly (and we’re pretty sure there are), the future of agriculture is in good hands.