The year was 2007. I graduated from the University of California, Davis with a degree in Crop Science and Management with no job. My future wife had moved to Texas for veterinary school and I had procrastinated on deciding how I would start my career, and my time had expired.

Pay off student debt by working in AgricultureMost of my friends had jobs waiting for them in California. My significant other lived out-of-state and I was always the type of person who wanted to be different, I lined up a couple of job interviews in Texas and the Midwest. I loaded up all my belongings in my pickup truck, and headed out to discover what my future had in store for me. There were plenty of job openings for graduates with an agricultural degree, but I still needed to decide what exactly I wanted. Did I want to live in Texas or stay in California? Should I limit my search to a really specific geography like College Station where she was going to Veterinary school? Or should I look at larger cities that would have more opportunities? What type of job did I really want anyway?

Agriculture UnitingNot long ago, before the drought in places like California and Canada and the relentless rains we have been experiencing in parts of the delta and midwest, it seems the "ag talk" was dominated by divisions in the industry. I'm referring to debates about organic vs conventional, GMO vs Non-GMO, small vs large, etc. My Facebook and Twitter feeds were non-stop propaganda advocating one type of agriculture being superior to another, and poking fun at, or worse, anyone who "did ag" differently. Recent events have proven that the one true threat to agriculture is NOT going to come from within our industry. Everyone in production agriculture experiences the same risks and challenges such as weather, nutrition, the environment, pests, public perception, sustainability, marketing,  etc. This goes for whether your customer is the local elevator or the local farmers market.