by Molly Fehringer- Student/ FFA President at Lander Valley High School
I grew up just outside of Lander Wy., and because I spent my summers working on my grandparents ranch, it was logical that I enrolled in an Ag.-Ed. Class. On our ranch, a common routine was to brand calves and put out pipe in the spring. Then I spent countless hours behind the wheel of our New Holland wind-rower, cutting hay throughout the summer. However, as the summer drew to an end we would pick the pipe back up and transition into gathering cows and weaning calves. I also spent a lot of time with my own animals as I enjoyed showing sheep, steers, horses, and my cat Hemi.
This experience has been very beneficial as it has not only taught me the value of hard work and the satisfaction that comes with it, but it has also allowed me to learn so much about where our food and fiber comes from. Sadly, the majority of my peers can not say the same.
With that being said, I believe that if we want to bridge the obvious disconnect exhibited by the majority of Americans, we must inform them on the processes and steps that it takes to get from farm to fork, especially our youth.
Now don’t get me wrong, I believe FFA does a great job at this, but I think that the more people we reach, the more successful our efforts will be. From my perspective, this will be best achieved if we can get today’s youth invested in agriculture, in turn they will take what they learn in the classroom, back home, and we will begin to get the word out to an even larger demographic. Simply put, I know the significance of agriculture and I want the rest of the country to share in this experience, and the classroom would be great start.