I still remember when I had just graduated from the University in 2008 and a company called me to meet for an interview to fill a Farm Supervisor's position. The first question I was asked was: “What is agriculture?”, and I immediately responded “agriculture is life”. The panel’s members that conducted the interview looked into each other's eyes and I smiled because I knew they were expecting me to give an answer like the rest of the candidates, which basically means providing a text book or dictionary’s general definition.
During the selection process, as they realised I was feeling confident, I was asked to expand myself on what I meant by my definition of agriculture. I made it loud and clear to them that agriculture is far beyond what people study -Agricultural Science and Economics, Agronomy, Plant and Soil Sciences, etc.-. Agriculture is simply about what you offer to the society at large based on the output that comes from little or maximum efforts that have been put into production.
I eventually got the job, but I did not turn up for it because it was clear to me that was not what I wanted. Sometime again last year, something similar happened. Another company offered me an opportunity as a Farm Manager, so after having gone round over 200 hectares of farming land, I tabled what was lacking and all sort of solutions that needed to be put in place. I was told I would be paid based on my performance but I did not agree on that as I found it a very subjective way to evaluate someone’s work. And now I realise why many firms act in this way towards young people: they are looking for workers who do not know what they want.
Lack of passion
What I would like to show with my case is that it is high time youth got to know what they really want as well as what they have to offer, instead of what the society is turning them into. In fact, when someone has something to offer, it grants him/ her more dignity and takes him/ her further due to his/ her hands’ work and performance.
Why many young people who studied agricultural related courses find it difficult or ashamed to introduce themselves as farmers or agriculturists? Young people should be aware of the huge impact they can produce in the national economic system and their capacity to take it to a higher and even more reckoning state through agriculture. Many investors in agriculture take profit of the fact that young people usually just focus on earning a living, so that they employ and use youngsters without utilizing the most important thing they can take from an employee: its passion.
Youth of the world, unite!
Nowadays young people need to gain at large the ability, authority, and motivation to take decisions and implement changes in their own and others’ lives as they are the leaders of tomorrow. If the youth would unite as one and believe with passion in the agro-world, they could achieve success and become the leaders of tomorrow. But success cannot be achieved alone. It involves more individual effort and hustle at the initial stage before it glows.
In short, we should keep making agro-world vibrant so that every person could add his/ her own views to foster agricultural development. In order to get this, we should first change youth orientation to make them more passionate for what they preach through practice. As I said in the beginning, agriculture is life, and I hope that sooner rather than later all the young people will realise that it is our major source of sustainability.
Picture credit: Eternity, by Matías Sánchez.