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.

Overheard in the field

My coworker, Lisa, and I had an opportunity to interview four life-long friends: Shirley Dvorak and Shar Tuhy, and Gene Dvorak and Jerry Tuhy. And yes, Gene and Shirley are married. And Jerry and Shar are married. North of 40 years a piece.

I can’t even begin to share how incredibly fortunate I was to talk with them and be able to share their story. Well, part of their story, anyway. I’m finding it hard to cram all I want to share about them in the two-minute time frame media pundits say video needs to be to keep people’s attention.

I might go long with the video. I can’t make any promises. There is this one clip, however, that isn’t going to make it into the video, but it’s a nice stand-alone piece that demonstrates the breadth of the Dvorak-Tuhy friendship.

My NDFB life

So here I am. 30 years in the business. 30 years with Farm Bureau (I know. AP style says DON’T start a sentence with a number. It just seems so much more impressive when you use the number at the beginning of those two sentences. Sorry! Just bein’ honest!)

NDFB was my first career move out of college. And it will hopefully be my last. Why? Because this is my passion. Sharing stories about people, people who I admire and trust. People who, every day, impress me with their courage, determination and strength.

That being said, this job has evolved and changed over the years, just as I have. What I’m doing today is MUCH, MUCH different than what I did back in 1985. And to be honest, I am not one to say, “I wish we could go back to the good old days.” When I started working for NDFB, I was hired as a writer for the magazine Dakota Family. Back in the old days, a hashtag was something you found on your Hash jeans! Anyone remember those? (They were all the rage at the high school I graduated from.) Now I’m tweeting and instagramming and hastagging #antfarmview and #ahhthegoodlife and #throwbackthursday all in the name of NDFB. And I’m loving it!

What is this blog supposed to do? Just give you a behind-the-scenes day-in-the-life account of an organizational communicator’s process at a job they truly love. (If there is even a process. To be honest, my best work comes to me in the shower, or while I’m driving around country roads by myself looking for things to photograph.)

So, I hope you will join me as I share my NDFB life with you, because it has been a wonderful ride, and I’m not done yet!