As an agriculture kid, many times I have been told I “Look older than I truly am,” that I'm “Mature for my age,” or that I am “More advanced than others.” I'm going to talk about why my fellow rural kids and I are perceived to have an advantage.
The first one I plan to cover today is the fact that Agriculture-involved kids are given much more responsibility in their preteen years than many urban kids will see in the first quarter of their life. Ever since I was ten years old, I have always been the one to feed hay to our herd of Boer goats, almost every time that I have been home to do it. With my older brother off to college now, my younger sibling helps my mom with feeding grain and watering them, as well as both of us, help clean pens and help my mom with vaccination. Now while often have our mom there in case someone made a mistake, there are many days when my mom is off helping my dad or they had to take a trip somewhere, if we didn’t get our job done it could result in death to our animals. That’s incomparable to kids privileged enough to count carrying his plate to the dishwasher as his biggest responsibility of the day.
Ag kids also work hard, and sometimes with no pay. I will use an example for where I live. The majority of kids who live in my hometown work in one of three places: convenience stores, grocery stores, or restaurants (of which there are very few in my town of any of the three). Now I am an outlier, but for the majority of agricultural kids, they are doing jobs with high importance, more work, and much less recognition without pay. We’re doing things such as operating machinery that cost more than my house, working with the livestock that is vital to our income, or the not fun jobs such as cleaning out grain bins or shoveling manure, that simply aren’t fun no matter how you look at it. (Who appreciates choking on grain dust?)
Finally, what we earn is dependent on what we put into something. The largest example is preparing livestock for a show or prepping for the next competition when it comes to rodeo kids. Lots of money and numerous runs and rides are put in if you even want to be competitive in the sport of rodeo and no I don’t care how long you rode the mechanical bull with two hands last year at the state fair. When it comes to livestock showing, you put as much as you can into grooming, prepping, and feeding your show stock up to six months before you step into the show ring.
Hopefully, this helps some understand the life of a kid involved in agriculture.
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