The complexities of commercial agriculture

An interesting student essay on the often unrecognized complexity of modern commercial agriculture, made poignant by the circumstances. Here's a taste:
I will never forget the dexterous and visionary employees who taught me not just that wearing shorts while working on a farm is equivalent to modeling a Speedo at a consulting interview, but more importantly how complicated producing food is with advanced mechanized systems. Whether it be welding an auger for grain transfer, converting a piece of scrap metal into a rotating laptop computer harness for the cattle chute, or actually building a propane-powered irrigation pump, the competency of those with whom I worked was remarkable. I learned untold lessons and skills from colleagues, reminding me that a cattle pen could also be an educational setting.

But no business could be productive without a savvy leader. During my last few weeks in Nebraska I spent time alongside the manager I so esteemed. His ability to synthesize futures and cash market strategies, reconcile input and output data to avert risk, and heed both large issues and small in a multifaceted business was phenomenal. The organization was a machine in itself—protean, even despite its seasonality and daily routine.
Big Ag gets a lot of bad press, and the amount of skill it takes to do it well - and in the process feed the planet - deserves to be recognized.

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