While growing up on a family farm I seen it as a way of life and thought everyone was being raised on a farm. However contrary to that belief when I entered school I quickly learned it was not true; that not all were raised on a farm. Being a farm kid in grade school it seemed that you were an outsider until high school where you finally fit in and found friends with the same interest. But fitting in did not matter; what mattered was the passion and dedication that I see in my family growing up surrounded by agriculture.
Agriculture is more than farming; it is a passion and that passion for agriculture runs deep within a family. The passion that runs within the family leads to generations of family farming. I am a fifth-generation agriculturist that grew up listening to the stories told by my grandpa about growing up and having the horses working the ground and the transition from horses to tractors. The stories about him and my grandma working together on the family farm milking cows, raising Duroc hogs, chickens, and row crops. My dad and uncles would talk about having to walk the bean fields with a weed hook to get the weeds out of the field. Then listening to the stories from my dad growing up on the farm with the milk cows and pigs along with everything else. The one story that my Dad tells from his youth I can still recall hearing it for the first time when I was eleven. We were looking at the first litter of pigs born on the farm in years and there was the runt pig of the litter and I liked that little pig a lot and my dad told me he did the same he liked the little runt pig when he was my age or younger.The passion for the family farm runs deep like roots on a plant through the soil.
Passion is something that is seen when my dad, brother, and I are doing chores, working livestock, or anything we are doing with the livestock or the crops in the field. Passion is not something that can be faked, passion is something that you have or you don’t. If you don’t have a passion for something what is the point of seeking a job or career in that area? When talking with my brother and I asked what forms your passion for Agriculture his response was this, “ Honestly, there is just something about the life within agriculture; I get to see new life each spring during calving, I watch as the fields turn from barren soil and through one seed be converted to acres of green that ultimately create the grain or forage to feed the world. No other industry or career provides those opportunities.” Agriculture is a passion that helped shape me into the person that I am today and taught me that family and hard work can get you so much farther than sitting and doing nothing.
The passion I have for agriculture also allowed me to find a passion within the wide area of agriculture which is animal agriculture also forage crops. As I stated earlier I grew up on a family farm but what I didn’t tell you was that I grew up on a family farm that also has a custom hire hay business attached to it, where we raise high quality alfalfa to be marketed as a high protein forage for livestock. The passion for forages I have has pushed me to want to be a forage agronomist when I am done with school. The passion that I have for agriculture when I am doing a job I don’t feel like I am really working I am learning and doing something that is effortless and comfortable but yet I can step outside my comfort zone and expand greater than I was and continue to grow myself along with the business of agriculture. We as agriculturist all share the same passion the passion to be fearless in the pursuit of what sets our soul on fire. This same passion is what helps make us the most useful advocates for the industry we love as we can show the good to all the negative that is seen by many outside of our industry and help guide them into the world of agriculture as it really is.
My name is Amy Heberling I am currently a Junior at Western Illinois University, where I am majoring in Agricultural sciences with a double minor in Agronomy and Animal Science.