Elizabeth (Liz) Uehling recently joined CropLife America as a summer communications intern. She is currently a rising senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she is majoring in agricultural and environmental sciences communications. Liz recently completed her Master’s in Modern Ag degree and her testimonial, featured below, reveals her deep respect for her farming background.
My dad is a farmer, just like my grandpa, my great-grandpa and a number of my other
great-grandpas before him. My younger brother and cousin can’t wait to get their four-year degree so they can come home and farm too. Needless to say, it’s a family thing and we’re proud of it.
Just as many other children like me, I look up to my parents. They are role models and I’m proud to say I have some of the best ones around. My dad is one of the most hardworking, family-valuing, community-oriented, agriculturally knowledgeable and genuine people I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. I don’t say that just because he’s my dad. I mean every word. The man puts his all into everything he does, works more than he sleeps at times and is always looking to improve not just his operation, but the agriculture industry.
When I see the public’s negative perception of farming, I can’t help but take it personally. “The farmer who destroys the land”, “the farmer who is only in it for the money”, “farmers are bad because of A, B and C”. You get the picture.
These perceptions do not tell the story of my father or the many other farmers who have positively impacted my life. The negative public perception takes away from his hard work and other farmers’ numerous contributions to society. The public does not always realize the sacrifices he and others make in order to get food on their plates. My father has spent countless hours crunching numbers to make sure he’s running an efficient business, making informed decisions to help conserve the environment, monitoring crops for pests and applying pesticides precisely when needed, and physically laboring in the fields to produce the greatest yield with as little money as possible just so people can eat his crops at a lower price.
Farming is an under-appreciated, misunderstood and, at times, a widely disrespected career path, but I love farming all the more because I know a truth that not everyone does: farming and agriculture is what makes the world go ’round. I’m proud of my father for pushing aside societal perceptions and helping find solutions to agricultural inefficiencies. He, along with thousands of others, are working tirelessly to solve the problems farmers inexplicably get shamed for. The agriculture industry is full of hardworking, community oriented, genuine and innovative leaders just like my dad, and together we WILL be the people who change the world for the better.