My major in college is agricultural communications, and so, I study many of the issues the agricultural industry faces. I have one class in particular in which I enjoy the discussions and find them to be unbelievably interesting, but a lot of days the class brings up tough things to swallow. Some days I come home completely frustrated because the issues seem to be endless, and no one seems to be doing anything about them.
Normally, I wouldn't be too concerned. Perhaps at times I am guilty of choosing the truths I want to hear regardless of the truths I need to hear. However, it's hard to ignore some of these issues when you see them every time you go home. I have seen the many struggles dairy farmers face every day. Milk prices have seen better days, and I don't remember a time when there were as many dairy farms choosing to leave the industry simply because it wasn't worth it anymore. I see the accusations consumers make about dairy farms and dairy products. There are real challenges facing agriculture and the dairy industry.
What is my response to all this? I worry. I am not proud to admit that, but I worry about the future of agriculture and our ability to overcome these problems.
But then I always have a change of heart.
As Princess Kay, I receive a healthy dose of the industry's best. I am able to meet with fantastic individuals, and I marvel at the mind and abilities they have. But what calms my anxiety even more is meeting the young people of the industry.
Over my spring break, I did classroom observations for one of my classes. I worked with FFA members and was amazed at the initiative they took to help the elementary students. While in class, I watched the students and could see the impact they are having, and will continue to make on the agricultural industry.
The next weekend, I attended the Minnesota Junior Holstein Association Banquet. I saw how excited each of these young individuals were to be where they were. They had no desire to be anywhere else. For some of the older members, I discussed their futures plans, and I was impressed by their goals and ambitions.
The future of our industry looks good. Many might scoff and say, "Well, just wait until the real world hits them." And you're right; the real world will hit them and maybe knock them off their feet, but they are going to get back up. These young people have an undying passion for the agricultural and dairy industry. This passion is going to drive them to do everything they possibly can for the industry. I am in awe of their enthusiasm and know there won't be much you can do to stop them. With their passion and enthusiasm comes strong values. These values allow them to make ethical decisions and do what is best for the industry and the consumers. These young individuals genuinely care about what they are doing and how they are helping people. There are some very bright minds that will be leading our industry one day.
Leave your worrying for something else. Please continue to have faith in the future of our industry and our future leaders. I do.