The accomplishments of Iowa’s future farmers are being recognized this week as part of F-F-A week, under the theme “Living to Serve.” Kurt Veldhuizen, an F-F-A instructor in the Webster City area, says students who want to make it in farming after they graduate from high school will face many challenges as the agricultural industry is going through dramatic changes.
Veldhuizen says it goes way beyond production farming anymore as that’s a big challenge, trying to start up a farm, facing the financial burdens if you don’t have an “in” with a family farm owner to continue that tradition. He says 20-percent of the entire American workforce is directly related to agriculture as far as sales or behind-the-scenes, so there are plenty of opportunities for kids to get involved in that are not just production agriculture.
Mirroring the ag industry, Veldhuizen says the F-F-A program has changed plenty in the 80-plus years since it was created. Veldhuizen says F-F-A will continue to evolve with technology and the fact that it goes so far beyond production ag and the traditional farming of 20 years ago. He teaches high school courses in horticulture and landscaping, two areas that are outside the box of what most people would think of as farming.