Where are you traveling?
I traveled to Hong Kong and Guangzhou, Xi'an, and Beijing in mainland China for two weeks with a group of SDSU students and professors.
What's your background in agriculture?
I grew up on a diversified farm in South Dakota. We raise pigs, cattle, corn, beans, and some wheat and alfalfa. Up until a few years ago we had a farrow-to-finish hog operation. Now, we custom finish pigs for the sow farm my family has shares in.
Before starting at SDSU, I thought I was going to be a teacher. And although I was involved in 4-H and showed pigs and sheep, I never really though of agriculture as a career. But midway through my first semester, I missed the farm and everything that came with it. It was definitely one of my best decisions I've made.
What is the most interesting agriculture industry you've seen on your trip?
The United States and China are very dependent on each other, yet their culture, lifestyle and agricultural practices are vastly different. In China, their crop farms are extremely small, 1/6 of an acre small, and the majority of all work is still done by hand. Even with small farms and limited access to machinery, China ranks number one in the world in both corn and pig production.
We visited a fish farm, a large beef feedlot, a dairy processing plant, a soybean crushing facility, a fruit and vegetable market, a fish market, a meat market and a local FarmHer along with other agribusinesses.
I really liked visiting with the local FarmHer. While her husband works construction in the city and both her son and daughter work in the city, she takes care of their 3/4 of an acre of farmland. On her farm, she grew wheat, corn, cherries and walnuts. She does use some machinery, but not like the machinery used in the US. In China, the machinery is small like four row planters and three row combines.
I am extremely grateful for the experiences I had in China. However, I am glad that I live in the US and the Midwest.
Why are you a FarmHer and what does agriculture mean to you?
I am a FarmHer, not only because it's in blood but because it's my passion. I want to share my passion for agriculture with those that don't live on the farm and don't understand the importance of agriculture in their daily lives.