Have you ever thought about where your food comes from? Everything, including greens, beans, chicken, beef, and dairy had to be produced somewhere before it made it to your plate. I can remember when I first started thinking about where my food came from. It was back during my sophomore year of high school, when I was learning about diabetes from a health-conscious physical education teacher.
Now that I am 23, I have seen myself become a major “foodie” over the past years. I even have a sizeable garden now. The best thing about a garden, aside from the tasty food it provides, is that it shows you how much work actually goes into making food. For example, we are currently in a drought here in Ithaca, New York. The grass is scorched to a brown color, and the veggies are thirsty as heck. Most of my other gardener friends and I have been watering the plants at least twice a day, and some plants are still drying up (like the poor lemon balm). Now just imagine if we had a whole farm’s worth of crops to water! The workload would be unbelievable. But that is what many local farms are dealing with right now. They have to provide water for their livestock as well as their crops. Some farms have to inquire to use more of the city’s water reserve stores. These stores are now in high demand, as farms and sports fields have a huge thirst for that necessary water.
The point is that agriculture is always connected to the larger system of natural resources that cycles all the time. We, as aspiring livestock veterinarians, will someday be an integral part of this system. We will be involved in the health and well-being of the animals that use natural resources, like water, to make a product that is utilized by humans. The amount of work that goes into producing animal products is amazing and difficult to grasp until you are involved in it. This reminds me that it is a privilege to have animal and other agricultural products available to us at the drop of a dollar and that we are very lucky to be able to be a part of the greater agricultural system.