By Shala Watson

I didn’t grow up on a farm. I wasn’t active in FFA or 4-H when I was in high school. You could say I’m not your “typical” agricultural student.

But I’m about to graduate with a degree in agricultural communication.

How did I get there?

It’s simple. I grew up in a rural community in East Texas where I was surrounded by farmers and ranchers, although I didn’t take advantage of those agricultural opportunities.

But when I ventured off to college, I needed a job. And found a place at one of the largest agricultural cooperatives in the state. Every day, I was interacting with farmers and ranchers, FFA and 4-H members and many others in the agricultural community.

Somewhere between running feed tickets, finding answers for farmers and trying to remember the latest fertilizer prices, I found a deeper respect and appreciation for the men and women who work to put the clothes on my back and the meals on my table.

And I decided to pursue a career in agriculture. You can, too!

I’ve found passion for food. For the folks who grow it. And the science that goes into making it all possible.

Animal care. The latest in technology. The diversity that is agriculture. There’s always something new to learn and someone to talk with.

And it’s rewarding. I may not be growing the food on our grocery store shelves, but I’m helping to tell the stories of those who are. The stories of heartache. Struggle. Of happiness and progress.

Like the stories we share here on Texas Table Top and Texas Agriculture Talks.

Close to 60,000 jobs are set to open in agriculture. And there aren’t enough people to fill them.

If you like to travel or do something different every day, check out a career in agriculture. Like science, math and engineering? There are jobs for you, too.

It’s an abundant field, where many work together to make something bigger than us happen.

That’s why I’m an ag grad. It’s why I think you should be, too.

Shala Watson is an Agricultural Communications major at Tarleton State University and the Texas Farm Bureau Public Relations intern.