Career Profile: Farmer
Every day, people cook and eat food that has come from farms. Bread comes from grain that grows on farms, and fruits and vegetables also often come from there. Milk, cheese and eggs come from animals that live on farms, and also much of the meat that people eat. Farmers grow the food and take care of the animals so that people in the cities and around the country can eat. Working as a farmer can be a difficult and dangerous job, but it is an essential part of every society.
Farming is a very old occupation which is found in almost every part of the world. People living in North America have grown crops like corn and beans for hundreds of years. However, when settlers came from Europe they brought many other crops with them. Farmers found that British Columbia, with its warm winters and wet climate, is good for growing many types of fruit like peaches and apricots. They discovered that they could grow grains like wheat and barley in places like Manitoba and Saskatchewan, with long, cold winters and short, hot summers.
Flexibility is an important part of being a farmer. In the past and even now in many countries, farms were small and farmers would be involved in many different types of work. Besides growing grain, vegetables and fruit, they might raise chickens for eggs and for meat, keep bees for honey and possibly even raise fish or other animals. However, in countries like Canada, many farmers concentrate on growing one type of food, such as grain or fruit. They learn how to prepare the soil, fertilize the plants and care for everything the plants need to grow and thrive. Farmers who work mainly with animals learn how to deal with medications, diseases and injuries and to help the animals with finding food and other needs.
Farming can be a tough job. Grain, fruit and vegetable farming tend to be very busy in spring, when farmers plant their fields, and in fall when they harvest the crops. Animals require a lot of care throughout the year, and many farmers wake up early every morning to milk the cows or to take the animals from the barn to the fields. When diseases hit the crops or animals, farmers can lose a lot of their earnings. Their income depends on the weather, the soil, the health of their animals and many other factors. Farming can also be a very dangerous occupation with all of the accidents that can happen.
Despite the difficulties of farm life, many people enjoy it. Sometimes, people who grow up on farms decide to take over when their parents retire, but others start out on their own. A degree in agriculture is helpful but is not necessary, since farmers learn a lot from other people and from experience. Farming can be a very good life for people who love to work with their hands and to be outdoors. You might want to consider this ancient occupation.