Through out my education I have had many experiences that have taught me more than just basic video techniques and tricks. My time as the video intern with the Illinois Corn Marketing Board has shown me what hard work and love farmers and their families put into the farms they manage. Though I come from a largely agricultural community I never had the experience of growing up on a farm like many of my classmates. This internship not only gave me my first experience riding in a combine but also interacting with a group of individuals who are truly dedicated to their work.

I was very impressed by how important farmers considered protecting the earth to be. Every farmer that I met or interviewed had a number of techniques they used in order to conserve the ground they worked and produce the best quality crops for the public. They considered themselves “Stewards of the Soil” which I consider to be a testament to the devotion they have to be to do the work they do. Many of the farmers I met understands that the food they grow is the same food they give to their families. It is very important to them that they produce high quality crops for everyone. It was also interesting to see the changes and advancements that are still happening in the field. I always thought that a practice that has been around as long as agriculture has would be limited in how much growth can really be made. All of the farms I visited were family owned and run. It is inspiring to me to see real people working the land that in some cases has been in the same family for generations.

For the agriculture community, this year was especially difficult due to the drought early this summer. Even with set backs that were out of their control and extremely damaging financially … even though the odds were not in their favor, everyone I met was still outwardly positive about the future and talking about next year rather than dwelling on what was happening then.

In my interviews one of the questions I always asked was “why do you farm?” Each person answered that they farm because they love it and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. It was explained to me that due to the amount of work and tireless hours put in to running an efficient farm it would be nearly impossible to do if you didn’t love doing it. Farming was never something I thought much about in the past but after this experience I have a new appreciation for the people who make it their life’s work to provide for more than just their own family.

Ashley BartholomewAshley Bartholomew
Illinois State University



See Ashley’s work by clicking here, here or here!


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