Earlier this spring CountryMark and Indiana Prairie Farmer partnered to hold their annual essay contest, bringing out the hidden writing abilities of farmers and students across the midwest. This is always a favorite event of our cooperative; mostly because we end up reading about our own in the winner’s circle! We’ve learned through this contest that Harvest Land has some pretty talented members when it comes to putting a pen to paper. In 2015, first, second and third place in this essay contest all went to Harvest Land members. You can access those winning entries here.
2016 did not disappoint.
The 2016 first place winner was Harvest Land member Jackie Angle from Rushville, Indiana. As a reward for her winning words, CountryMark generously gave Jackie 500 gallons of Premium Dieselex-4 Off-Road Diesel fuel.
The adult essay topic that Jackie responded to so successfully was:
What new courses should ag schools consider adding in the next five to 10 years?
Here is her winning response:
“I like going to flea markets and looking for books for my two granddaughters. If I am lucky, I can find books about farming. Many of them show farming the way it was 50 years ago. The books show a big, white house with a red barn. The chickens are pecking in the yard, the cows are grazing in a pasture and the hogs are in a hog lot. Children are playing with kittens. Mother is hanging clothes on a line. Father is plowing a field with a small tractor and a two-bottom plow. Things have changed!
Just as things progress in agriculture, current curriculum must not only keep up, it must keep ahead. I looked at Purdue University’s College of Agriculture’s list of classes offered. Starting with Agribusiness Management to Sales and Marketing to Food Science to Animal Science to Crop Science to Horticulture to forestry, and everything in between. You get the picture.
Agriculture involves so much more than feeding the hogs, gathering the eggs and milking the cows. Students today who major in agriculture literally have limitless possibilities.
When looking at the next five to 10 years in agriculture, I see more and more technology becoming a player. From GPS systems to computerized equipment to use of drones, classes need to show the advantages, the how and the why in using these ‘tools.’ These types of technology hopefully would excite the student to think beyond and develop future uses.
Why not develop a combine that has some sort of ‘microwave’ capability that when the grain is harvested, as it goes through the equipment, it’s dried to the preferred moisture? It then can be taken directly to storage, saving drying costs, equipment costs and labor costs.
Seeing how far agriculture has come makes me excited for the future!”
First Place Winner Jackie Angle and Harvest Land fuel driver Bob Temple
Congratulations to Jackie!
We’re proud to call you a member.
And, we’ll be calling you should we get writer’s block when developing the annual report.