There are misconceptions about everything in life. Religion, schooling, and sexuality are just a few. One common misconception that many people have are understanding someone else’s occupation. People always seem to have an opinion of what someone else does for a living and most of the time it is very skewed.
Farming, agriculture, and rural life are some of the many occupations that people have a misconception of. When someone who isn’t familiar with agriculture describes a farmer and their life, they would probably use the stereotype description. They would say that a farmer is someone that lives in a “hick town”, wears blue jean overalls, and talks with a southern twang. However, for those of us that farm, we know that this isn’t usually the case. People misunderstand what farmers do and what rural life actually consists of all the time and as farmers we wish that people could understand our life styles better.
There are five things I wish my classmates and peers around me would better understand about farming/agriculture/rural life:
1. For starters, everyone thinks that all farmers are rich and that is why they farm. I can’t think of a single farmer I’ve known whose goal was to get rich. People farm because they love it. Farmers farm out of a deep desire to help, to make a positive difference in the world. Farmers also farm simply because they realize that farming that it is truly necessary.
2. People that live in a rural community understand that there is more out there then just farming. People tend to believe that since someone grew up in a small community that they don’t know that there is more to the world than a small town. Just because someone grew up in a rural community doesn’t mean that they have never seen a skyscraper or been on an airplane. Farming and small towns coincide because of the advantage of excess land not because the people are sheltered individuals.
3. Just because you grew up on a farm, doesn’t mean that you will be a farmer the rest of your life. There is a common misconception that people who grow up on a farm will forever be farmers and never do anything else. Many children of farmers go to college and receive a degree and never farm another day in their life.
4. There’s no future in agriculture. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. The people that do not believe that there is a future in agriculture obviously wants to stop eating. Fox News recently said that farmers are the “hot ticket” for job growth because it is completely necessary for everyone. People will forever need to eat and therefore there will need to be people supplying and taking care of what goes into our food.
5. Farmers are uneducated. This is a myth and one we need to bust. The days are gone when you learned everything you needed to know about farming from your grandfather. This doesn’t mean we don’t use grandpa’s advice, since it is based on years and years of experience, however, it does mean that farmers today need post-high school training. They need training in many categories such as science, business, marketing, and communications. Farming is a life long learning process and will continue to need educated people doing it.