Every day I have a new conversation about agriculture, each with a different definition on what agriculture was, is, should be and will be in the future.
Everyone touches agriculture in their day-to-day lives, so it’s not surprising that as we continue to grow and prosper as a society that people will become interested and engaged in agriculture.
For far too long, there has been a disconnect in our industry and many of us have failed to realize that agriculture is not just planting and harvesting crops and raising livestock. In this ever-changing and connected world, we have to realize that bringing together other sectors, which we haven’t traditionally thought of as agriculture, will help to advance our beloved industry forward.
I think we have to get past the notion that every farm kid, FFA student and 4-H member will return to the farm. Many of them will, and we do need the next generation of farmers. However, we need molecular biologists, coders, communicators, investors, food scientists and more.
And on top of that we need young people with agriculture backgrounds to become leaders in their communities through non-profits and in government to advance the agriculture message forward — from the roots of agriculture to the innovation created in the laboratory that will advance the science behind what we do and how we feed people.
I’m not sure you’ve heard but Indiana is in a state of innovation. Our leaders in agriculture associations and corporations, government leaders, universities and individuals have collaborated to form AgriNovus Indiana. The organization is the state’s agbiosciences initiative focused on advancing the sector as a nationally recognized leader in the development of new, innovative products and services.
AgriNovus has four key areas:
- Plant science
- Animal health and nutrition
- High-tech agriculture
- Human food and nutrition
It is taking our deep agriculture roots and collaborating with our state’s life-sciences sector to develop and advance the agbiosciences industry for our state and our country.
While the leaders of AgriNovus were thinking about the agbiosciences sector, they were also thinking about the next generation of talent that will work in the sector. I believe that every generation — in society and in the workplace — has to define themselves, and I’m proud to be a part of a generation that is going to collaborate with other industries and connect people who should be working together to enhance agriculture moving forward.
Now, don’t get me wrong, our ancestors were innovators and the farmers and agribusiness professionals of today are innovators. They have paved the way for us to take things to the next level of innovation – to think outside the box or outside of the field in this case.
My family and my husband’s family have a long history in agriculture and farming. While both families have made changes on how they farm from generation to generation, our shared passion and work ethic has not changed. While I don’t think my daughter and grandchildren will think about farming and agriculture like we do, their shared passion and hard work will continue to leave a lasting legacy on the definition of agriculture. I’m hoping that they exceed our work and expectations, creating their own or different state of agriculture innovation. Will you help to pave the way for them?
Katie Glick grew up on her family farm in Martinsville and now lives with her husband and their daughter on their family farm near Columbus, where they grow corn, soybeans, wheat and raise cattle and have a private seed company. She is a Purdue University graduate and has worked in Indiana politics. She now works in the state’s agriculture industry. She shares her personal, work, travel and farm life stories on her blog, “Fancy in the Country.”