By Chandler Bowers
As I am top dressing wheat with fertilizer and herbicide, I am reminded of the sacrifices that we all must make to keep the world revolving for generations to come.
There are lots of sacrifices made by farm families in order to keep their businesses profitable. Long hours, seasonal vacations, the unpredictability of Mother Nature—these are just a few of the challenges that we face. And that’s just the beginning of the “lessons learned at the end of a dirt road.”
So, if these lessons are so great, why would young people come back to farm and ranch?
Is it because you have to have a passion and love for the land?
Maybe it’s because you have the self discipline to know when it is time to get up and get to work without the pressure of a boss man.
Or is it because you know how to run the tractor, run a spreadsheet, run a calculator and negotiate with the banker year after year?
Generations before and generations to come have seen as good and as bad as it gets. Yet the world still needs the food and fiber grown by farmers and ranchers. There are plenty of reasons why fewer young people are returning to the farm. But I believe a passion for agriculture and this way of life is what draws some of us back.
As a young farmer, frankly, I couldn’t be more fortunate. Because of our father, my brothers and I have the opportunity to do what we love. I’m not saying that it is easy. It took lots of hardship and growing pains—some that we are still overcoming—to get to where we are today.
Like just about any successful business, there can and will be times of struggle—financially, mentally or physically, it doesn’t matter. But at the end of the day, farming is a way of life. It’s my life, and it’s worth the give and take.
Chandler and Jenna Bowers represent District 1 on Texas Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer & Rancher advisory committee. They are from Groom in Carson County, where they raise various grains.