• Nicole Burke

Sharing Your Perspective

It has been a very enlightening experience to fully immerse myself into the world of agriculture. Growing up, my personal experience mostly revolved around sitting on every lawn mower in my dad’s store and occasionally getting a ride around the lot on one of the Gators or tractors. But truthfully my small encounters with agriculture and the farming industry growing up have given me a better understanding than many people in today’s world. The best way for people to truly understand farming and negate many misconceptions in today’s day and age is to hear and even observe firsthand from farmers. A great way is following farmers on social media. I have come to a much better understanding of farming concepts, practices and what happens in their day to day lives, just by listening and asking questions.

I have the unique perspective of understanding farming from two different sides of the industry. As an adult working for my family’s John Deere dealership, I see much of what happens from the equipment and ag business side. I see the importance of maintaining a fleet of quality equipment, being up-to-date on the latest technology and having dealership support personal you can trust. The partnership between farmers and their dealer is vital.  I’m also married to a row-crop grain farmer. It has given me a completely new perspective, understanding and most importantly appreciation for the men and women that work to feed, fuel, clothe and sustain the world. It takes a special kind of person to do this work. I have learned so much by simply watching, listening and asking questions. I have a better understanding of why farmers do the things that they do to care for their crops and produce the best yields possible. Farmers actually use a lot of technology in order to make advances in producing more crops that are safer, more affordable to the public, and produced more efficiently than ever before. Farmers continue to grow more with less land and more precise technology and advances. One of the things that has surprised me the most is the misconception that farmers only work two times during the year during planting and harvest. I can say from personal experience that is not true at all. Though those are the two busiest times of the year for farmers, there is constantly work that needs to get done all throughout the year from tillage to spraying to trucking to maintenance to office work and planning; farmers wear many hats and do much more than drive a tractor. One of the biggest things I have learned is all the office work, planning and decision making that goes into preparing for and executing a quality crop every year.  It’s amazing what you can learn about farming from simply talking to farmers and understanding more of what goes into growing crops and also raising livestock. If we continue to open up the conversation to help others better understand agriculture, many of the misconceptions in the world could be overcome. Many people simply don’t have a good grasp of what happens on farms across America, and much of it comes from misunderstanding or misinformation about farming practices. In general, just answering people’s questions about farming or speaking up about what you know can make all the difference. Even growing up with some general knowledge about farming, I’ve learned a lot in the past three years. There is still a lot that I am learning as a farm wife and hoping to pass on to you. We all can continue to grow and learn from each other as we share our wisdom and own unique perspective and life experiences. 

Sincerely xoxo,

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