By Mindy Smits
Change can be scary, difficult, nerve-wracking…the list goes on and on. Yet change is happening all around.
For some of us it is starting college or transitioning out of college. For some it is wondering what your summers will be like after your last county fair. For some the question is “Where will I be in the next five, even ten years?”
I will never forget the big smile that swept across my face, as a young girl, when my family and I were headed to the farm. Living in town, I always found the adventures of the farm to be fascinating – whether it was fall and the combine was waiting at the edge of the field to pick me up or it was lambing season and a new baby lamb had just been born. The farm was my home away from home.
This summer I helped Farm Bureau coordinate a program at the Malta Public Library. The theme for their summer reading program was “It’s Showtime!” so what better topic to learn about than popcorn! As the kids learned about the growing process, used maps to identify top popcorn producing states, and made their own butter I recognized something in every one of the young kids. The same smile I had as a child, they now had too.
Being a summer intern, surrounded by agriculture and the people within agriculture, has taught me to find my passions. I believe doing so will make the hard times worth it. There will be times when I have to change my plans not only once, but twice, maybe even three times. The time will come where what has worked for years will need to be reconstructed. My internship has helped me understand that it is not how the change affects you, but how you react to the change.
The pages of this magazine are filled with young adults who turned those smiles into their passion and are ready to be the change within the industry. The scholarship winners, grand champions, and last-year 4-H members are all brilliant examples of putting passion to practice and adapting to change.
With all the rain this year we could use a little sunshine. Having bright, young adults, (soon to bring their passion to the industry) the forecast for the future of agriculture looks sunny and 75.
Mindy Smits, a Sycamore resident, was a summer intern at the DeKalb County Farm Bureau. In the fall, she will attend the University of Wisconsin-Platteville as a freshman to major in agriculture education. Mindy plans to return to the classroom as a high school ag teacher and FFA advisor to continue sharing her passion for agriculture.