Agriculture: Part of everyday life

Ana Schweer

I cannot believe summer flew by as fast as it did! I don’t know about you, but I am always excited to start another school year – then in a couple of weeks, I remember why I enjoyed summer so much. I am Ana Schweer, a Watertown native who grew up on the Watertown Holsteins dairy farm. I graduated from Watertown High School in 2008 and headed to college here at SDSU to study dairy production.

Last spring, I was elected as the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences advocate.  So, I want to do my best to show my fellow students what goes on in the world of agriculture from many different perspectives, not just mine.

So what is AGRICULTURE? Defined in the New Oxford American Dictionary as the science or practice of farming, including cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops and the rearing of animals to provide food, wool and other products. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it much the same saying it is the science, art or practice of cultivating the soil, producing crops and raising livestock and, in varying degrees, the preparation and marketing of the resulting products.

Often times, I believe people lose focus of this definition and start to mistrust and misinterpret what agriculture stands for. In reality, agriculture is the foundation of the United States. It has always been and always will be. Agriculture is a part of so many things in our lives that we often take it for granted.

For example, the billion dollar franchises of football and basketball would be out of business if it were not for farms and ranches raising cattle for food and one of the many by-products: leather! The tie agriculture has to our everyday lives is huge if you stop to think about it. It’s the corn syrup or sugar in your soda and coffee. It is the cotton in your shirt and the ink on the page you are reading.

As the year progresses, I hope to help you find the truth about the world of agriculture, and even if you do not know much now, I know you will learn something new. I ask you to go to and fill out a one-question survey: what are your questions about agriculture and what myths have you heard?

Ana is an undergraduate studying dairy production. Reach her at [email protected]