By Julie Tomascik

Same words. Different meanings. Agriculture is full of them—those homonyms that can confuse us.

Farmers and ranchers seem to speak their own language sometimes. Jargon. Technical words. Or just words that mean something different to you.

It’s a learning process for sure. We’ve all been there. Endured the vocabulary tests. Learned the definitions of words. It wasn’t the most fun part of school, but essential.

Who would’ve thought agriculture went hand-in-hand with English class?

Turns out, it does! Test your ag vocab, and see how much you know about these seven words that mean something different on the farm.

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Cab.
What it means to most: The yellow vehicles. The ones Uber is competing with in cities across the country.

What it means to a farmer: The portion of the tractor where farmers ride. Not always air-conditioned. And it can seem like a second home during certain times of the year—planting and harvest.

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Hybrid.
What it means to most: A tiny, electric-powered car with a gasoline motor. Common in big cities.

What it means to a farmer: Seed produced by cross-pollinated crops. And one of the major reasons for a rise in agricultural output.

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Post.
What it means to most: Facebook. Need I say more?

What it means to a farmer: The rigid objects holding the fence together. And they come in all shapes, sizes and colors. If they’re painted purple, it means no trespassing.

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Header.
What it means to most: Making a shot or pass with your head in soccer/futbol. Could be a little painful, right?

What it means to a farmer: The business end of a combine. It acts like scissors to harvest the crops.

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Elevator.
What it means to most: A compartment or platform that raises or lowers people or things to different floors/levels.

What it means to a farmer: A building or terminal where grain is elevated and stored or transferred to an alternate mode of transportation.

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Stalk.
What it means to most: Social media creeping. Or someone who has an obsession with you in real life.

What it means to a farmer: Trunk or stem of crops like corn or grain sorghum.

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Pen.
What it means to most: A writing tool. Applies ink to paper. A bit of a foreign concept these days with technology, but still useful!

What it means to a farmer: The act of gathering livestock.

The world of agriculture has a language all its own. What one word means to you may not mean the same to a farmer.

What other words would you add to our list to help you speak agriculture a little more fluently?

A version of this blog was originally published July 5, 2017. 

Julie Tomascik

Associate Editor

As a third generation rancher, I prefer the outdoors to the kitchen. After all, there’s no better feeling than dirt under my feet and wind whipping through my hair. But I’m slowly learning my way around the kitchen.

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