As with any major industry, if you’re not directly involved, you may fall prey to misconceptions. This is especially the case with the agriculture and agrochemical industries.
Perhaps misconceptions occur because this type of work is highly specialized, but it’s not highly publicized. Since movie stars and directors are constantly in the news, many ordinary people have a reasonable familiarity with the workings of the entertainment industry. When it comes to agriculture, however, unless you are an active participant in the industry, you may not be exposed to the latest news and trends. As such, it’s reasonable that you may have misconceptions.
This blog post serves to challenge three of those misconceptions, illustrating why agricultural and agrochemical work is important and showcasing why these industries have some of the most significant potential for technological and social progress
Misconception 1: Farming Is an Archaic Industry
As has been pointed out by numerous experts and historians, agriculture is among humankind’s oldest industries. Because of this, it makes sense that some people have a tendency to regard it as an outdated practice that is no longer relevant to society as a whole.
Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. The vast majority of the food we consume is generated through farming. As any global history expert can confirm, the amount of food available to a population plays a major role in that society's development and stability.
Without farms, the world as we know it would look remarkably different from the one with which we are familiar. Quite simply, agriculture is essential to maintaining order in human society. It’s had this effect for literally thousands of years and, there’s currently no reason to suspect that it won’t continue to do so.
Misconception 2: Agriculture Is a Technologically Outdated Industry
This misconception is an extension of the one above. Just as many people assume that farms are a relic of the past, they may also assume that the farms that do still exist are stuck in the past. People who don’t keep current with the shifts and developments in major technologies may assume that farms have failed to inspire further technological progress.
Not so. The principles of precision agriculture - using advanced methods and tools to maximize crop yield - have resulted in the implementation of numerous new technologies in the effort to grow more food and to limit the amount of land that needs to be converted to farmland.
These technologies include, but are not limited to, unmanned aerial drones that monitor crop growth and potentially distribute agrochemicals; unmanned agricultural equipment that can reduce much of the human labor necessary for farming; and remote monitoring stations that alert farmers to the condition and needs of certain crops.
Those are just a few examples of how agriculture helps to move technology forward, which is beneficial to human society as a whole. Historically, when a technology is developed for one purpose, others quickly find new applications for it.
This will undoubtedly be the case with various new technologies that are currently being used in the agriculture and agrochemical industries. Right now, they help farmers to get the most out of their land (which also helps to keep people fed). However, in the future, others will find new ways to make use of these tools.
Misconception 3: Farming Is Not Intellectually Challenging
Throughout the world, there has been a stereotype of farmers as stoic laborers who work strictly with their hands, facing few if any intellectual challenges in their work. This is a strange misconception, although it’s a persistent one.
In order to make efficient use of farmland, one must have an in-depth understanding of the numerous variables which go into growing healthy, robust crops. Farmers also need to be able to understand how to use new technologies, such as those discussed above, to their best advantage.
In addition, the people actually involved in creating these and other technologies - such as newer and stronger agrochemicals - need to be highly-educated, with creative minds and a passion for innovation.
This is why how schools teach agriculture is important. Many students may not be drawn to the idea of pursuing a career in the agricultural or agrochemical industries if they believe that technology and innovation play only a minor role.
Of course, the real truth is that these industries are ideal for those seeking a job that will provide them with constant mental stimulation. Farming will continue to benefit from the brightest minds in the world, and the world as a whole will continue to benefit from farms.