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Give 'em a chance to farm

Only recently have I been motivated to write on a subject that has been my life for the last 20 years. Having a boy of my own has led me to encourage farm families to think long and hard before pushing their sons and daughters off the farm.

Farm families often do not see a bright future for their kids on the farm. Some discourage it through silence or by sheltering the kids from farm finances. Markets, weather, you name it -- they all come to mind as you think how farming has dealt you a bad hand or two. It's off to college for the kids.

Only recently have I been motivated to write on a subject that has been my life for the last 20 years. Having a boy of my own has led me to encourage farm families to think long and hard before pushing their sons and daughters off the farm.

College did bring opportunity for me. An accounting degree could take me anywhere. But lo and behold, I was drawn to agribusiness, taking a job with one of the big names. I was proud to be in the industry, with a starting wage far beyond what I could earn back home. It was a no-brainer.

At one of those stops, I was asked to go into a facility and make changes in accounting, personnel, and operations that the company deemed necessary. It was a revelation for me from both a personal and business perspective.

Can you hear my frustration? And what about my wife, the farm girl with the college education? She followed me everywhere, holding part-time jobs in small towns while I worked and worried about my career path.

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