GROWMARK Ohio 2020 Essay Contest Winner

Farmer of the Future

by Nora Beresik, Fort Loramie-UVCC FFA Chapter, Fort Loramie, Ohio

Innovation--the driver of success. Although each farmer across America may wake each morning with differing reasons for pursuing success in agriculture, they all can agree that the path requires innovation to overcome challenges. By 2050, the world’s population is projected to reach 9.1 billion, meaning agricultural outputs will need to increase by sixty percent. Coupled with the increasing population, there are currently more farmers older than 65 in comparison to those younger than 45. Farmers of the future must be innovative amid these challenges to be successful and feed the world.

First and foremost, farmers of the future must possess knowledge about themselves, their operation, and their market. A farmer has to know how much risk he or she is willing to take to reach their end goal of increasing production and efficiency. Along with this, being knowledgeable of one’s livestock, crops, and land is vital. Even though farmers of the future will be faced with a changing industry, they must make smart economic choices to best serve their markets. For instance, from my experience working on a small, organic dairy farm, selecting which advancements to adopt without sacrificing the organic product is of the utmost importance. Additionally, Dannon Yogurt in Minster, OH is catering to the population through no-longer using milk with GMOs--farmers must also oblige to their clients’ needs. Overall, having the confidence to discern whether particular advancements are good fits for the operation and market is important with the influx of technology.

Equally important is being adaptable and open to learning in the agricultural industry of the future. Each sector of agriculture has been touched by the latest advancements in digital technology and research. Within the current grain industry, sensors, drones, and satellites have collected field data for farmers to make educated decisions to maximize their yields. From my experience shadowing veterinarians, I have seen the increased implementation of robotic milkers and feeders and cattle activity monitors on larger dairies to help with labor issues and monitor cattle health. In addition, breakthroughs in genetic research in crops have led to developments in transgenic crops and plants resistant to disease. New technology will continue to be developed: self-driving tractors and the implementation of more robots are on the way. Through choosing to learn more about the newest advancements in technology and research, farmers may apply their new knowledge to their operations’ needs for improvement.

All in all, farmers across America can agree that the future of agriculture will require a different approach to farming. With a smaller amount of younger generation farmers entering the field, the future of agriculture lies in fewer hands. Therefore, the willingness to adapt one’s operation to incorporate the tools of new digital technology and advancements in research is vital. Although farming of the future may not be done in the traditional sense, farmers must remember they are farming each day to serve their families, communities, and the world with the opportunities that arise.




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