Today’s Hi, I’m Agriculture post is by David Hayden, a Kentucky-native-gone-Okie. David is a meat scientist, and is also the voice of the fantastic agriculture Facebook page, Farming America and the Farming America agriculture and food blog. You can also find David on Twitter at @davidhayden7. David recently did a two-week vegan challenge to try and understand different food and lifestyle choices better, and despite being an agvocacy celebrity and an all-around pretty spectacular and cool dude, he agreed to write this post for me. What a friend, right?! Without further ado, here is David’s post about how he is Agriculture!
Farming has been a part of me since I was knee high to a grasshopper. It started in the tobacco fields and cattle pastures, evolved into poultry houses and feeding operations and finally to packing plants and chemistry labs.
I could sit here and tell you how the majority of my life has been spent on the farm, but I’m not sure how much validity that carries since I’m only 27 years old. Most of those farm years happened by default because I couldn’t really “run away” from home so I figured I might as well learn the trade. On the other hand I can confidently say my farming years are what drove me to where I am today.
I’m a meat scientist, currently working in the meat industry assisting large processors with the development of new products, processes and innovations. My company is based in New York and I’m willing to bet, if a poll among co-workers were taken, the majority of them would NOT know they are working directly in the Agriculture industry. Though I may not be on the farm every day, I consider my career VERY MUCH a part of the Ag Industry.
I’m David Hayden, and I’m Agriculture.
I mean, without farmers and ranchers not only would I be jobless but we would all be pretty hungry. During my younger years I saw myself going to college to get my degree in Animal Science then moving home to take over the farm. Evidently “life” had different plans for me. It wasn’t until I started my schooling that I found how big the Ag industry really was, it ranges from business, sales, marketing to chemistry, biology and even communications. Just like my coworkers, I never would have thought working for a company selling meat processing equipment would be considered an Ag industry job.
Life on the farm almost left me secluded. When our animals left the farm, I never thought much about where they went from there.
My interests and career path led me to meat and food science. Most of the time, when I tell someone that I’m a meat scientist I get bombarded with questions. The most prominent I get is “You’re a what?” along with what is meat and food science and why is it important? This answer of course typically turns into a 30 min conversation.
The food industry is rather large and as more people become concerned about where their food comes from and how it’s produced, to say its challenging is an understatement. Since the start of my career I’ve been fortunate enough to work one-on-one with the farmers that grow/raise our food and the companies that process it. This has broadened my horizons and allowed me to understand our industry from start to finish.
I may not be on the farm everyday but I am directly involved in the Ag industry on a daily basis.
I challenge you to research how the Ag industry affects your life and career choice.