I’m a transplant. I was born in Franklin, Ind., where I was surrounded by corn and soybeans and learned the importance of Sunday service and hard work. By the luck of a spinning globe and a dart, my parents, two siblings and I relocated to Perkins, Okla. where I picked up a cattle halter and fell in love with the smell of the cattle barn and learning to drive on dirt roads.
Agriculture was the foundation for a lifetime (well twenty-something so far…) of lessons. Here’s a top 5 list of my favorite ag-lessons to be ag-thankful for.
1. As a 5 year-old, I thought the Beach Boy’s song ‘Kokomo’ was about corn and soybeans. Sounds silly, doesn’t it? When that’s what your grandpa tells you while you’re sitting in line at Kokomo Grains, it’s not something you question.
Where’s the lesson in that one? I’m not sure – but it still makes me laugh. Picture hauling soybeans the grain elevator and Beach Boys waiting to weigh your trailer. I wouldn’t trade a million dollars for a moment with my grandparents.
2. I learned about farm safety from my best friend. He had four legs, big blue eyes and a knack for chasing rabbits. When I was six, he went to the fields with my grandpa and returned missing half a leg, a bright blue cast and a fear of combines. That next summer we won the pet parade with my nurse outfit and his “no combines” billboard.
3. Caring for your animals is a tough job – but they depend on you, even when you’re tired, sick or when you’re 13 and think you deserve to sleep in on Saturday. My dad once turned my show heifers out on wheat pasture the week before a big show. I never slept in again.
4. This past summer in Nicaragua, I along with several Oklahoma State University students, helped teach many Nicaraguans about sustainable agriculture. Until you have the opportunity to stand in a community so far removed from what you would consider “normal” in America, you can in no way understand the importance of our agriculture and the technological advances we have made. I will never again take for granted the opportunity to walk into a grocery store with money in my pocket knowing whatever choices I make – I will have food on my table.
5. I work in a downtown office. From here I coordinate statewide promotional campaigns highlighting our Oklahoma Pork Producers, educate consumers on the value of pork and its high nutritional content and I’m the girl behind the big curtain when it comes to our grassroots social media efforts. Whether you work in a farrow-to-wean operation or trade futures – there is a place for you to be involved in agriculture. The possibilities in Agriculture are endless.
Brooke is the Coordinator of Promotional Programs at the Oklahoma Pork Council where she promotes pork products, educates consumers about nutrition and connects to producers and consumers though various social media networks. To connect with the Oklahoma Pork Council visit www.okpork.org/blog, twitter.com/okpork, facebook.com/okpork or youtube.com/okpork.
Check out more great posts throughout the rest of November from others describing why they are Thankful for Agriculture. Feel free to send me an email with any questions. (firstname.lastname@example.org)