Should everyone working in agriculture have to say their job is farming, just so people know what they are talking about?
Our oldest child, Casey, graduated from Franklin Community High School this year, along with 412 other students. She graduated with honors and Magna Cum Laude and has chosen to attend Iowa State University and major in Agronomy. I am one proud Momma!
She also tried out to present a speech at her graduation ceremony. Along with 10 other students, she wrote a speech, practiced it, and presented it to a committee of teachers.
Soon, the teachers selected Casey, along with three other soon-to-be high school graduates, to give their speeches at commencement.
She practiced often at home. She was required to give the speech twice to teachers at school – there were to be no mistakes, she was told.
The evening of commencement, she was ready. As her turn to speak approached, a school administrator wearing graduate robes and several different colored ropes introduced her. He said her name, her high school activities, that she would be attending Iowa State in the fall.
Then, in front of at least 3,000 people, he told them she would be majoring in "ag-row-namee."
My jaw dropped and my heart sank. I think he should have been better prepared. I am not a college educated person, but I know enough to prepare myself before a public speaking engagement.
Do I expect everyone to know what agronomy is? No. But I think of it this way: I don't really know what kinesiology is, but if I were asked to introduce someone in that field I would certainly do my research – if only to know how to pronounce it correctly!
This isn't the first time this has happened to Casey. Even when pronounced correctly, she has to define what agronomy is. She explains that it is the study of soils and crops – but until she says "farming," she is pretty much met with blank stares from the non-ag crowd.
The opinions of Jennifer Campbell are not necessarily those of Indiana Prairie Farmer or the Penton Farm Progress Group.