Around the Farm – Steering Forward

Posted: February 13, 2020

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” Dr. Seuss

Raise your hand if you’re a parent! If you are, I’m certain people have told you, as they did me, that your kids will grow up faster than you could even imagine.

Each time someone told me that I was deep in the trenches. Maybe I was changing the millionth diaper, or enduring sleepless nights and teething…dealing with toddler tantrum or helping someone navigate their way through their first broken heart.

As we lived through all of those stages of life with our daughter, Ava, I thought it would last forever.

But I’m here to tell you today, all those people who told me kids grow up fast – well, they were spot on. Yes, Mom and Dad, you were right.

Because in my mind, I was just taking my sweet little girl to kindergarten. And then helping her get ready for a middle school dance.

Now, she’s 16 and a junior in high school.

We’re dealing with a real life, “almost” grown up daughter.

Part of this stage in her life includes researching and visiting colleges for her to attend after graduating high school.

Cue the college visits!

While the list of talents Ava possesses is vast, she’d like to focus on a major in communications and is interested in agriculture, too.

So I did what any mom would do and put out an APB on my social media. I asked my friends, “What can you do with a communications degree in ag related industries?”

I was gratefully overwhelmed by the responses I received from friends (and friends of friends) in the ag industry.

What I learned was that a career in agriculture doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily be a farmer, an ag lender, or a seed dealer. While those are all perfectly great careers, the reach of ag goes much further down the rows than that.

With her degree in communications, she’ll be equipped to tell the story of ag through a variety of platforms. And believe me, it’s a story that needs to be told, again and again!

Of course, the first places that popped into my head were ag based organizations like FFA, 4-H, Farm Bureau and the like.

And then are career opportunities at companies such as animal feed, farm implement dealers, seed and chemical companies, and food brands.

The opportunities with a communication degree will also extend to things like:

  • Engaging with people through digital media with things like video production, acting as a social media manager, creating and managing websites, and building community.
  • Sharing where food comes from – you’d be amazed how many people haven’t seen where the food started or have questions based on scare tactics in the media. Plus, families are always looking for the best ways to feed their families.
  • Events promotion – developing ad campaigns for trade shows, ag events and organizations.
  • Education outreach like Ag in the Classroom, writing, blogging, journalism and trade publications.
  • Public work like grant writing, policy development, fundraising and lobbying.

Those are just a few of the ways she can apply her passion for agriculture with communication studies.

Anyone who knows Ava knows she’s a go-getter. Sure, I have some bias as her mom but I think others would tend to agree. Whatever she sets her sights on, she’ll tackle it with intelligence, grace, and capability.

I’m so excited to see what the future has in store for her and to see the mark she’ll make on the world.

DEANNE FRIEDERS – WATERMAN FARM WOMAN, MOM, AND COOK


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