If you're a farmer, or you know a farmer, you're aware that there is more to farming than planting and watering seeds or blocking traffic with incredibly large, slow vehicles. As a matter of fact, the agriculture industry employs nearly 17% of America's workforce according to farmflavor.com.
The job of a farmer doesn't end with the harvest; it is a year-round occupation that supplies not only your own community but the entire country (and even some foreign countries) with food, medicine, clothing and fuel that they need to sustain life. Whether you were born into the farming life or you decided that it was the life for you, there are a lot of different aspects to farming that the average person doesn't know. This has created an agricultural culture that only those who have close personal experience with farming can truly understand. If you are one of the exclusive members of this interesting culture, you know that the majority of farming is all about intense labor, long days and little appreciation.
You know things the average American can't comprehend, and now it's time to test your skills. Let's see if you know these things that only farmers should know.
What is a cash crop?
A particularly good harvest
Whatever a farmer grows or raises to sell for money
This term defines itself, it's basically anything that can be turned into cash. "Cash crop" is a term for any crop or livestock that a farmer can sell for money. This includes cows, pigs, chickens and vegetables.
Erosion is both natural and man-made. It's generally caused by flooding, but it can also be caused by overgrazing, because the roots of the grass hold the soil in place, and when the grass is gone, the soil is more vulnerable.
If a farmer is talking about their yield, what are they talking about?
When they stopped planting
How much they produced in a given time
The yield of a crop can tell a farmer if they had a successful year or not. The higher the yield, the higher the profit. Many farmers depend on high yields to ensure they can plant again the following year.
What do you call the large points at the end of a combine?
Long ago, large animals and a farmer's hands were all that could collect the crops. These days, row dividers at the end of combines are generally used to pick up corn. It's an excellent tool to help farmers harvest quickly.
Unlike their female counterparts, bulls are generally more muscular and exhibit more aggressive behavior, making them a little more difficult to work with. If a bull is castrated, it is considered a steer.
Believe it or not, about 20% of today's farmers are new farmers, and they are Millennials. The millennial generation recognizes and appreciates the need for farming, and is willing to put in the work to ensure natural crops.
If a sheep farmer wants to collect wool, what do they have to do?
Slaughter the sheep.
Shear the sheep.
The great thing about sheep is that they are a recurring revenue for farmers. A farmer can shear their sheep at least once a year, and it isn't necessary to slaughter them to get their wool. They're a sustainable source of fiber.
Generally most cattle and animal farmers make sure to set aside a plot of land for animals to eat the grass. These are called pastures. Pastures must be rotated, to ensure that overgrazing doesn't occur, because it can lead to erosion.
The farm bureau works with farms to solve major agricultural problems. It is not in any way associated with the American government, so they work off of registration fees and ensure that farming is kept to certain standards.
Food grades are put on tested foods to ensure quality. Farmers have to send in portions of their yield to ensure that their food is properly packaged for consumers. Grades also dictate the market value of the farmer's yield.
If someone from your grange is calling you, what will they need?
Your RSVP to a social event
A grange is a group of farmers who help each other, support each other and hold social events. This is a great way to discuss different concerns about the crops in a specific area, and it helps to ensure that farmers are socializing.
If a farmer says you're a hard row to hoe, what are they telling you?
You have a great smile.
"A hard row to hoe" is an expression that derives from hand hoeing field (which was hard enough, but if one was especially hard, it was a hard row to hoe, for sure). It has evolved into "You're a hard road to hoe" due to assimilation.
What will a farmer call you if you like nice things and enjoy creature comforts?
Low on the row
The center of the plantation
A kernel on the stalk
High on the hog
"High on the hog" is a way of telling someone that they're upper class... and usually not in a nice way. For example, if a farmer's son is dating a city girl who wears makeup and likes fancy things, that farmer would refer to his daughter in law as high on the hog.
If you're happy as a pig in mud, you are in your element. This kind of happiness doesn't happen often, so enjoy it. For the most part this phrase is reserved for children who get presents or have fun with small objects.
About what percent of the final yield do farmers actually earn?
5 cents for every dollar
15 cents for every dollar
Yes, farmers only receive 15% of food costs. The rest is spent on marketing, distribution, and other overhead. While it doesn't necessarily seem like a large take, it is a great way for farmers to help keep the cost of our food down.
Which of these is not a part of a total mixed ration?
Total mixed ration includes hay, corn, barley, cotton seed and pretty much anything a cow can eat. These items are mixed together to create feed for the cows when grazing is not enough and in the winter months.
If you go to a farm, you may see a few cats roaming around. Farmers have found that they are great to have around for pest control purposes. While these cats can reproduce (a lot), they are still necessary for protecting the barn.
With around 2.1 million farms in America, we're a relatively sustainable country. Nearly 99% of our farms are operated by families, individuals, and partnerships, which helps make local buying even easier.
Which of these is NOT in the top three US farm products?
Even though soy is a major US farm product, it is not in the top 3. The US produces more cattle, corn and dairy products. However, with the attraction and versatility of soy, this ranking might change.