Blog Update
 collaboration
“Is this an agricultural co-op or a tech company?” This was a question recently posed by “60 Minutes” correspondent Lesley Stahl in a segment about Land O’Lakes, Inc.
Blog Update
 collaboration
Last time, we explored what participants in the 2019 Land O’Lakes Global Food Challenge Emerging Leaders Program learned and how they planned to put those learnings into practice. Here, the Emerging Leaders talk about what made the biggest impressions on them during their travels.

Erik Ohman’s Future: Where Agriculture, Biological Science and Environmental Stewardship Meet

Posted by Erik Ohman, Fri, August 16

What I love about agriculture

 

Growing up on my family’s hobby farm in rural southeast Wisconsin, I developed my passion for agriculture at a young age. My summers were dedicated to prepping show pigs and cattle for our county fair, and the rest of the year I cared for my family’s home-farrowed swine and beef herd. Through long hours of work, often after a tiring sports practice or late at night when I wanted to be doing just about anything else, I gained an appreciation for agriculture and the responsibility farmers have for the people they feed. Personally, I relish hard work, grit and the feeling of satisfaction that comes from a long day’s work. Given the nature of the industry, there are few other professional fields that truly embody those qualities quite like agriculture does. Looking back at my formative years, I recognize that my personal character development is due to the countless hours I spent working on my family’s farm. I believe I have embodied some of those traits from agriculture, as it has come to define who I am today.

 

Besides my time spent on the farm and the lessons learned from it, I am also drawn to agriculture because I love food. Throughout high school, I learned to cook various dishes from roasts to casseroles and even meals on the grill. All these meals, of course, were created using meat from our farm and vegetables from our garden. Now in college, I enjoy cooking tasty, nutritious meals to maintain a well-balanced diet. As a focal point of agriculture, sustainable food production is an area that I have developed a lot of interest in.

 

Why I am pursuing an ag related degree

 

As I matured in high school and into college, my love for agriculture evolved and blended with my passion for science; classes such as biotechnical engineering, biology, microbiology, agricultural economics and more have introduced me to new topics that have sparked a greater interest in agriculture’s economic and environmental sustainability. Furthermore, through my affection for our natural resources (I greatly enjoy hunting, fishing, hiking, etc.), I arrived at an intersection of my professional passions: agriculture, biological sciences and environmental stewardship. As a result, I decided to pursue a degree in microbiology as well as certificates in agricultural business management and food systems.

 

If my love for agriculture wasn’t motivation enough for pursuing an agricultural degree, learning of a looming food crisis due to our ever-growing population definitely was. With such a tremendous change occurring in an industry I have come to love, which may also have a negative fallout on our environment, I feel it is my responsibility to help ensure food in the future is produced more efficiently. I am aware of the challenges ahead that face the agriculture industry, and as a result, I am pursuing my degrees in order to prepare myself for career to face these challenges head-on.

 

Dream career

 

I believe it is my responsibility to work in the fight to feed our global population; the trick is to do so without destroying our natural resources in the process. Since this is a very broad and diverse task, it cannot be simplified into one “dream job.” I would like to begin my career researching microbiology in modern agriculture and how it can used to improve our yields while also preserving our natural resources. I believe this will help me expand the depth of my agricultural and scientific knowledge while also giving me rich and fulfilling employment. Later in my career I would like to transition to technical sales, in which I would have a more social role that I could use to advocate for sustainable agriculture. Through active learning with Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN and other business units, the Land O’Lakes Global Food Challenge has given me a strong cornerstone from which I will build my career in sustainable agriculture.

 

I have strong faith that we will continue to develop methods of producing, transporting and storing food more efficiently in order to address global food insecurity while being cognizant of our natural resources. My hope is that I can be part of the solution.