Farming: Feeding The World Essay

1058 words - 4 pages

The agriculture field is one of the biggest employers, employing over 155 million people in the United States. What do you think about when you hear the word “agriculture?” Many people would say farming, but this is not the most common occupation in this field. Farmers make up a fraction of the agricultural jobs at 900,000, but over 2.1 million people own, rent, and claim farming as a primary source of income. The average farm size has dropped from 460 acres in 1990 to 418 acres in 2007, while the average age of this occupation rose to 57, making this one of the older workforces in the United States.
Education and work conditions required for this job changed considerably. It used to be that growing up on a farm and learning as you go was the primary source of education and job experience. Now days with advancements in the field, like auto steer, depth control, and field mapping, a post secondary education is a must have. Most high school graduates go on to complete a two-year associate’s degree or a four-year bachelor’s degree at a college of agriculture. For example, the University of Nebraska Lincoln (a four-year college) and Southeast Community College (a two-year college) both have special agricultural programs that pinpoint this key area. After completing and obtaining a degree, continuing education is very important. Research and development is always coming up with innovative ideas and techniques to implement into your farm. Keeping up with the new and improved ways may require personnel to go to a training seminar, or a class that is instructed by the manufacture or a company.
Another very positive point to this job is the versatility of where this job is present. All over the country you can some kind of farming going on, from oranges in California, to sweet potatoes in North Carolina. Here in the center of the United States, corn, soybeans, wheat, and milo are the main crops grown and harvested. Growing and harvesting crops requires many tasks. Before the crop is planted, preparing the soil with disking, tilling (vertical or horizontal), and fertilizing is sometimes required depending on the conservation method used. Shorty after, it is time for the planting or drilling of the crop. During the middle of the growing season, irrigating is in full swing to make the crops grow. Also, floaters and airplanes are fighting the battle with weeds and pests. This time of the year is also slower for farmers then planting or harvesting time. As fall arrives, irrigating comes to a halt and the busy harvesting season begins. Combines, tractors and grain carts, and semi trucks fill the countryside as the race to get the crops out of the field begins. If the weather permits harvest can last as short as a couple of weeks for the smaller farms and longer then a month or two for the larger farms. During late fall and into the winter selling grain and buying seed, equipment, and fertilizer is the task at large. As you can...

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