Agriculture is much more valuable than some may perceive

Agriculture is much more valuable than some may perceive

Do you ever feel frustrated and under valued for tasks that you undertake in the course of a day at the job that you do? I’m sure the answer is yes!

At various times, I think most folks have had the feeling that they are under-appreciated for their efforts in the workplace.

In fact, in some occupations it wouldn’t be stretching it to say that the client or customer served doesn’t even register your existence, unless you fail to perform your job, or do it poorly.

In suburban areas, who knows their garbage collector, who ventures out to thank them for a job well done?

Not many folks, I’d bet, but in the event that garbage went uncollected, the odds of a complaint?

Pretty high, I surmise, and then those faceless employees have names.

Often, I feel that agricultural (cattle) producers are as invisible as the trash collector, as we barely register with most urbanites on the awareness scale.

Serving to highlight that disconnect an online article (Yahoo News) titled College Majors that are Useless by Terence Loose aptly illustrated the great divide. Agriculture took top spot, the number one most useless degree! Statistics (U.S.) used: 24,988 agriculture degrees awarded (2008/2009) with 1,234,000 employment positions (agricultural managers) available (2008) and a projected 10-year decline of 5 per cent of those job positions available.

Listed as the next four most useless degrees: number two — fashion design; number three — theatre; number four — animal science; and number five — horticulture. According to Mr. Loose, animal husbandry or growing things is not fashionable and will not provide a field of employment.

What happens to food production in that scenario?

Agriculture is a way of life, not just a career (or a college major); and unless we want to be like the invisible trash collectors, we must never hesitate to engage in meaningful dialogue about what we do  — it’s all food for thought and fodder for understanding.

By Liz Twan, Williams Lake Tribune,  Liz Twan is a rancher and freelance columnist for the Tribune.