When I pulled into the driveway just outside of Wellsville, Mo., kids seemed to be coming out of the woodwork. I was on assignment to profile a family exhibiting at the Missouri State Fair, and it led me to Robinson Family Farms.
There, Eddie Robinson, along with his five kids, showed me around their hog operation. In the mix was an outnumbered young boy flanked by his four sisters. It was the first time I met Will Robinson (pictured at left). That was more than a decade ago.
I’ve always said agriculture is a small community. In many cases, those you meet leave a lasting impression. So, when Will’s name came across my inbox for consideration as Missouri Ruralist’s College Farmer, I remembered.
No longer is he that little boy hanging out with hogs. Well, he still does that on occasion as he remains active on the farm and in the National Junior Swine Association, but today he stands head and shoulders above me and is a senior at the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, majoring in agricultural journalism.
The College Farmer offers aspiring ag communicators a place to hone their craft. It also provides readers with a glimpse of life from the next-gen perspective.
I’m excited to read Will’s column in the coming months for two reasons:
- He is not a traditional College Farmer. In college, Will’s emphasis is not only on the written but also the spoken word. Over the past three years, he has worked in radio with KWWR-KXEO out of Mexico, Mo., KBIA in Columbia and recently at Brownfield Ag News. But make no mistake, he is accomplished at interviewing and writing.
- He’s, well, a guy. Ever since I came to Missouri Ruralist, all the College Farmers have been female. Nothing wrong with that, but males just did not apply. However, we’ve had some great male ag journalists get their start on the pages of Missouri Ruralist. I’m looking forward to Will’s perspective on agriculture, being raised rural, the college life and future career choices.
Honestly, there was only one drawback to Will’s application. My husband was part of MU’s Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity, so I deducted a few points for Will being active in the Alpha Gamma Sigma Fraternity. (Sarcasm my Ag Sig friends, sarcasm.)
Agriculture is full of great families, and you just never know where that interaction during a farm interview will lead. Please join me in welcoming Will’s words onto our pages and into your homes.