Have you considered farming and raising livestock something you would like to do as a career?

What do you think the challenges and successes would be?

“Farming As a Career” – By Kelsey Winters, 19 Years Old, Anne Arundel County

Growing up in the livestock world is something I will always be grateful for. The lessons I have learned and the knowledge I have gained from raising animals is so plentiful. I’ve been in 4-H for 8 years raising swine, sheep and steers on my parents farmette. They are not farmers but my Mom was raised on a farm and wanted us to be involved with farming in some way. As a sophomore in college I had to choose a major that I wanted to pursue at school. My initial thought was to major in some kind of veterinary science, since I loved raising animals and being around them. Then, I decided that I liked the business side of things and was looking to major in Agribusiness but finally I ended up choosing Business with a focus in marketing.

Being at school and away from home has given me a lot of time to think about my future and what I want to make of my years after college. Choosing a business path only fills the professional side of my life in the future but I can’t imagine my life without livestock. After school I would like to get a job in the USDA and be able to work with the country’s agricultural side. On the side I would still like to have a few steers or pigs to raise for friends and family. My extended families are mostly all farmers and tell me that it is not something I should want to do as a full source of income due to all the risks that can be endured. Reflecting back this year with COVID, farmers struggled to sell their products because there were so many restrictions that held them from being in contact with customers. Other risks can be natural risks like a lack of rain or too much rain that causes crops to suffer.

Raising animals especially is risky as there are always risks of animals getting sick or injured causing the farmer to lose time and money. Good things about farming show through all the risk as they are the reason that we have food on our tables every day. They never stop working because they know how important it is to provide for our country’s citizens. During quarantine, farmers were seen as essential workers since the population couldn’t just stop eating. Without them the world would go hungry and people would suffer. I may not be in college to “major” in becoming a farmer but with the skills and knowledge I learn through a business degree, I want to bring the “business agriculture” side to the community.