Across the Editor's Desk: Many slices of pie

03/20/2013 @ 2:00pm

During the eight months that I’ve been in this chair at Successful Farming magazine, I have met more and more growers and producers with side businesses, projects that become new inventions, and a more diverse industry.

You should read Dan Looker’s article Farming’s New Faces. It tells a great story – beyond just the demographics – of how agriculture’s fabric is adapting and evolving for these times.

It’s a great time to be in agriculture. The past five years have been prosperous for many – but not all – sectors of agriculture. That opportunity has opened doors for all kinds of new talent to be a part of this industry. Talent seems to be the key word.

I was with a big seed company’s human resources director recently, and her title included “Talent Acquisition.” What a great endeavor: bring “talent” into her company. She reported to me that in many farm youth organizations, the majority of new members are now young women.

Another interesting source of talent is an influx of new members from urban areas. Many of these kids have never grown up on a farm, never baled hay, never fed a cow. They want to join an exciting, dynamic industry that touches people’s lives. They want to do something that matters. I think that’s great. We should welcome them in.

In the forums, there was a lively exchange recently as to how to describe this new era of agriculture. Members had plenty of suggestions, from traditional ag to production ag and dozens of others.

Here’s my suggestion: Let’s just call it American Agriculture.