“Bring diversity back to agriculture. That’s what made it work in the first place.” This quote was said by prominent environmentalist David Ross Brower founder of many environmental organizations. Many assume this quote like most quotes on “diversity in agriculture” refers to planting a variety of different crops for healthy soil; however, in actuality Brower was referring to employing a variety of people for a healthy and sustainable industry. There is a widespread perception that agriculture is comprised of and belongs to white men on large farms; however, this is only a small group that makes up the agriculture industry as a whole.
I had the fortune of being exposed to agriculture at an early age and fell in love with every aspect of the field, yet I always felt as though there was no place for me because I was not white or a man and I had never lived on a farm. While I refused to let these doubts persuade me from my aspirations countless others have thrown their dreams away because they didn’t feel they “belonged”.
Throughout the month professors told us of the quickly changing demographics in all aspects of agriculture making a large dent in the issue of minority representation in the industry. We learned that women are beginning to dominate plant sciences and African Americans are becoming increasingly more engaged in agriculture. My hope is that in future years the agriculture will represent all those who fall in love with it just as David Brower and I did.