I had the opportunity to meet Christopher Flood last year as we entered our first year at Lake Land College in Mattoon, IL. At first glance, Christopher is a very quiet reserved guy, incredibly smart, and genuinely a nice person to be around. As we have gotten to know each other more and more I find it fascinating to listen to him, as he knows a lot about various aspects of agriculture. I sat down with Christopher after class one day to talk about being a 6th generation farmer, a student, and a young person in the agriculture industry.
- Tell me a little bit about your family’s operation and what you guys do?
We run a 1300-acre corn/soybean/wheat crop operation along with 3000 wean-to-finish hog operation and 400 head Holstein and Jersey steer operation. We used to be a farrow-to-finish operation but because of disease and some other factors, we decided to become a wean-to-finish. We found it was cheaper to buy weaned pigs than to treat all the sick ones. Feed for our steers is a silage ration and for the hogs, we grind bulk loads and put in some supplement packs.
- What is your major and where will you be transferring to?
I am currently an Agriculture Transfer Student at Lake Land College. After Lake Land, I plan to transfer to Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and major in either Crop Science or Soil Science.
- What is your dream job?
My goal is to be an Agronomist for a Seed Company or the USDA.
- Did you or do you still have some mentor(s)?
My uncles and my dad definitely have given me a lot of insight in different areas of agriculture and life.
- In the terms of age of Agriculture, we are very young people, but do you remember anything that really changed agriculture in any way?
Whenever I hear my grandpa, dad, or uncles talk about changes in agriculture the first thing I hear is 2012…meaning the drought of 2012. I was still a kid, but I remember it not being a good, profitable year. Other changes I have seen especially lately are the changes in machinery and GPS usage in machinery.
- How do you see the agriculture industry changing in the next 5-10 years?
There’s probably going to be a huge focus in technology, more than what we have already. Drones and better field mapping will happen. There are going to be larger farms with fewer farmers doing it.
- Do you have any advice for younger people in agriculture or thinking about agriculture as a career?
Work hard, know there is a lot of room for movement if you want to work for it. Know that if college is not your thing there are jobs that require as little as a certificate all the way up to 8+ years of schooling. So, see what fits with you.
Lake Land College