Amanda Radke / Special to Agweek
National Ag Week was March 18-24. The week-long celebration is organized each year by the Agriculture Council of America, a nonprofit organization composed of leaders in the agricultural, food and fiber community that dedicates its efforts to increasing the public's awareness of agriculture's role in modern society.
SOUTH SHORE, S.D. — Laurie Johnson can hear the crunch of gravel as she runs down the country road near her ranch in South Shore, S.D. Bundled up to ward off the cold, the puff of air create a cloud in front of her face as she tackles the quiet road after a busy day of calving, lambing, raising two toddler boys and working as the lamb and wool instructor at Minnesota West Community and Technical College.
Parenting isn't always easy, but it's always an adventure. My husband Tyler and I are blessed with two beautiful and healthy children — Scarlett (age 3) and Thorne (age 18 months), with a third on the way in May 2018. Just like we grew up as farm kids, our brood will be raised the same way. They'll learn to pitch manure, bale hay, calve cows, vaccinate, fix fence and whatever else we can find to keep them busy, to teach them the value of hard work and to have fun together as a family.
Fall has families clamoring to the nearest pumpkin patch for fun autumn activities. The corn mazes, rows of pumpkins, trees full of apples and hayrides don't just make good Facebook photos: Agritourism is big business for local farmers. Commercial gardener Jan Sanderson, of Aurora, S.D., started Sanderson Gardens in 1977. On 40 acres, Sanderson grows a variety of seasonal crops throughout the year, starting with rhubarb and asparagus in late spring, moving to strawberries in early summer, raspberries in August and ending the season with pumpkins.
BROOKINGS, S.D. — It may only be October, but for college students preparing to graduate in December 2017 or May 2018, it's crunch time. It's time to job hunt. Each year, South Dakota State University hosts an agricultural-based career fair aimed at connecting employers with students for potential agricultural internships and full-time careers.
It's been nearly a decade since I was a college student studying agricultural communications at South Dakota State University. I'll always remember my senior year being riddled with great anxiety about where I would go after graduation and if I would find a career that was exciting and fulfilling.