By Jessica Domel

When you look at your children, your nieces and nephews and your grandchildren and think about their futures, what do you see? A doctor, lawyer, engineer or teacher? How about a farmer or rancher?

I’d venture to guess that more people hope their loved ones will become a doctor, lawyer or something else before considering a career on a farm. Life as a farmer isn’t easy. It can be hard work, and you’re always battling Mother Nature.

But I have a secret to tell you.

The future of agriculture is so bright!

A few days ago, I represented the Texas Farm Bureau at the Latinos in Agriculture Leaders Conference in San Antonio. At the conference, I learned that there are many more opportunities for our children in agriculture than most people realize.

One of the speakers at the conference, Dr. Steven Leath from Iowa State University, told us that the future will revolve around biomaterials and renewables. Guess where those come from—agriculture. Does your son or daughter love science? Maybe he/she will play an integral role in agricultural research and development.

What about math? Writing? Design? Agriculture needs people who can do all of those things.

Dr. Leath told us estimates are that there will be 9 billion people on this earth by 2050. The demand for food, feed and fiber is going to be huge. Agriculture is the key to ensuring we can continue to meet the demands of our growing population. So why not encourage your loved one to consider a career in agriculture related to his/her passion?

We have to follow our passion. After all, I followed mine. I may have left our family farm to become a reporter, but I found my way back to the agricultural world when I joined the Texas Farm Bureau staff as a writer.

We are in the golden age of agriculture, according to Dr. Leath. Our opportunities are boundless. We just have to find them and help our children find them. Our future depends on it.