I had a very interesting conversation with a friend who was helping me on the farm early this morning. We were talking and laughing about some of the art and language courses we took when we were in ag college to achieve at least the idea of a well rounded education. Twenty years on, I'm kinda glad I took the time to take classes that introduced me to the arts and literature. I AM definitely a more well rounded person because I took the courses.
And then he posed a question that absolutely stopped me in my tracks. How well rounded can an education be when it doesn't address ANY of the practical necessities required to actually look after yourself when you're done being educated ? Where are the mandatory introductory courses for the masses in agriculture, mechanics, and structural engineering and repair ? How about personal finance and money management ? Home economics ?
Exactly. They're nowhere.
How about teaching the value of work ? Is that important ? We get offers from friends all the time that they've got kids who want to work and we've got PLENTY of kid safe and kid friendly work to be done around here. However if they're less than 17 years old it's all but illegal for us to employ them, even doing something as simple and safe as stacking firewood or hoeing corn, even for half a day. That they can legally work in a convenience store or at a fast food restaurant years before they can work at some place as unwholesome as a family run farm speaks volumes about what we value as a society.
Three hundred million Americans pony up to the table to eat every day. Agriculture in the classroom ? You betcha. Every year from 1st grade on up.
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