The oversized gowns are hung in closets never to be worn again and the caps have been tossed.
Last weekend we finally awarded our last 2016 Harvest Land Co-op Scholarship. This spring twenty outstanding high school graduates were granted $1,000 scholarships on behalf of our farmer-owned cooperative.
These very deserving students are pursuing post-high school agricultural degrees. They are, in fact, the future of agriculture. And a bright future, it is: Agriculture teachers, economists, animal chiropractors, nutritionists, veterinarians, broadcasters….the list of dream jobs coming out of this bunch is very promising. We also recognize employees’ children who graduated this spring and are pursuing post-high school education. From Indianapolis east to Dayton and Ft. Wayne south to Cincinnati, students from all over Harvest Land’s trade market are chosen annually.
And the winners are…
We wish the very best to each of these students as they leave behind the halls of the high schools where they’ve spent so many days and charge ahead into the next chapter. We just know they’ll shine.
Before these twenty up-and-comers leave their townships and move on into the world, we thought now might be a good time to give them just three quick bits of advice, on the occasion of their high school graduation.
We aren’t guaranteeing this advice will ensure Dean’s List status (sorry, parents), but we are certain it won’t hurt you.
Signing up for 4-H before the deadline.
Getting the corn planted in a short window of time.
Spraying before the rain comes but when the wind is just right.
Submitting your FFA SAE project on time.
Making hay while the sun shines, literally.
Cutting beans when moisture is right.
Selling when the market is high.
Up to this point, your life in agriculture has been incredibly time dependent. You’ve seen first hand the importance of carrying out certain tasks in a timely manor and being quite intentional on timing.
Now – more than ever – it is important that you stay on time.
Class starts every day at a very specific time. It won’t wait on you.
Your professor starts teaching every day at a very specific time. They won’t wait on you.
Work starts every day at a very specific time. It won’t wait on you.
Remember, in higher education and in agriculture, your being on time is quite important and affects so much around you. Don’t waste anyone’s time, especially your own. Be punctual.
Maybe you came from a tiny town, maybe you came from the suburbs. Maybe you hail from a class of 52, maybe you’re one of 328 graduates in your class. No matter where you’re coming from, you are about to enter a whole new world with thousands in the exact same boat as you: a freshman in college.
A new world.
A new place.
A new schedule.
A new set of classmates, friends and people that will feel more like family in a year.
Don’t forget to introduce yourself. To everyone.
Introduce yourself to every professor you have; they will sure be happy to put a face with a name and they won’t forget you.
Introduce yourself to the person standing behind you in line for the washing machine. You’re both probably missing your mother at that exact same time.
Introduce yourself to those strangers you happen to sit next to in class. They’ll become your study partners, source of explanations when you just don’t get it and the ones you’ll say “Merry Christmas!” to before driving home for a long Christmas break.
It matters not how big the class or campus is: No one knows the story within you. Make sure you tell it. Introduce yourself.
Call Your Parents
This is important. I’m serious.
You may be going off to school three time zones away or staying at home and attending a community college. You may see your parents once at Christmas or every evening when you get home. Whatever your circumstance, don’t forget to communicate with your parents.
Send them a birthday card.
Tell them good morning.
Because while your life is taking off in a million different, exciting directions, and every day is a new adventure to you, they’re probably at home worried, wondering if you remembered to pack your umbrella.
One day you’ll understand.
Call your parents.