Agriculture: The next generation
March 16, 2016
In honor of National Ag Week, we got to look into how the most important generation, the future, defines agriculture. Students in the kindergarten through eighth grade rural school in Melville, Montana shared their writings and drawings with us.
Melville School is rich in history, as it has been the main rural school for the area in operation since as early as 1896. Many of the students attending today are the fourth generation in their family to sit in a rural classroom under the Crazy Mountains.
Consequently, none of the students at Melville are strangers to agriculture. In fact, each student comes from either a farming or ranching family and it's apparent in their writings.
"To me, the idea of agriculture is not just crops and livestock, it is a lifestyle. Growing up in an agriculture community like Melville, has taught me that the bonds of friendship and family are as important as anything. Over the last fourteen years I have been able to see the importance that the community plays in the role of agriculture. When someone needs help moving cows or hauling horses, there is always someone in the community willing to lend a hand. Neighbor helping neighbor, or family member helping family member, is a lot of what I think of when I think agriculture. The settlement and the hard work of previous generations has created a won-derful life for the community today. Without the agricultural choices that the people within my community have had to make over the years, the history that I know would greatly differ. The spirit and passion that all agriculture communities have is what drives us forward as new gener-ations. I believe that the lifestyle my community adopts is what makes us able to work hard and all the while have a smile upon our faces. Agriculture is what makes a living for many people in these types of communities, but more that that, agriculture creates a life of family, trust and friendship!" — Connor Dringman, an 8th grader at Melville School
"To me, agriculture is everything. I couldn't imagine living without horses, cows or tractors. Liv-ing in a life without agriculture would be like living without family, friends, and happiness. Agri-culture is beauty, appreciativeness, hard work, and most importantly, home. It's what makes us who we are. I wouldn't trade my life of agriculture for anything, not even the most perfect life I could imagine, because a life filled with agriculture is that perfect life." — Brealyn LaRue, 7th grade, Crazy D Ranch
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"Agriculture is very important to me because it is the way I live. I live on the Rein Anchor Ranch which is our family ranch in Melville. Agriculture is my every day thing. My great, great, great Grandfather migrated here in 1892 and started the ranch in 1893, which one of the next sons will then take over after the other. I am the fourth generation and it has been a tradition for our initials to be CMR. It's an honor for me to be a part of agriculture because I am a part of a great community with good people. In agriculture, I get to ride horses, work cattle, drive tractors, four wheelers and trucks, be in 4H and do projects that will help me for when I am older and may ranch. I get to live on this big ranch with tons of places to go and things to do. Without agricul-ture, I cannot imagine my life without it and this is why agriculture is important to me. My name is Coulter Rein and I'm in sixth grade." — Coulter Rein, 6th grade, Rein Anchor Ranch
"Agriculture is important to me because it's what my parents do and what I'm growing up to do. I think that when you live in a rural and agricultural community, you tend to be pretty close with your family and friends. There is tons of history in agriculture around here. Many of these ranches and farms have been around for at least a hundred years. It's what our ancestors have been doing for hundreds of years. You learn a lot from agriculture, it teaches you how to work hard, yet also enjoy what you do. Neighbors around here are always willing to help out with livestock, fencing, pretty much anything. Agriculture is how we earn our living, it's our lifestyle. It's also what makes us happy, even though it's no easy job! Animals are a huge part of ag. Raising and selling cows is how many of us make our living. Dogs and horses are also very helpful on a ranch. I really enjoy living on a ranch and growing up in a rural and agricultural community. I learn a lot and have fun. I think that you are very fortunate to get to grow up and live on a ranch or farm." — Rainy Carroccia, 6th grade, Carroccia Ranch
"Agriculture means so much to me. Ag is my life, my job… me. It takes care of the world, pro-vides and makes a difference in mine and many other's lives. It gives me the satisfaction of a job well done. It generates hard work, commitment, and common sense that many lack today. Without agriculture, life would be dull for me and many others, no horses, no work, and no beef! Without agriculture, life would be nothing, just a grain of sand to be blown away with one gust of wind. I will stand firm." — Morgan Anderson, 5th grade, Pitchfork Ranch
"Agriculture means to me a hard day at work and a new day to look forward to tomorrow. Agri-culture means a lot to me because I am a fourth generation rancher and want to carry to the fifth. An example of why I care is in the summer when I bale or do any chore, I get bored at first, but when I see it done, I am very proud that I stuck to it. I was raised on a ranch and I knew I wanted to be a rancher the first time I went to work with my dad. Agriculture is something I would never let go. That is what ag means to me." — Walker Lee, 5th grade, Fairview Ranch
"Agriculture means to me that you have worked hard from sun up to sun down and then some. It means to have satisfaction in the animals you have raised. Ag is a job where you have to be dedicated, passionate and brave." — Coltyn LaRue, 5th grade, Crazy D Ranch
"Agriculture means to me waking up in the morning and being proud. I am thankful to be a daughter of a rancher because I get to work with ranch animals. I get to learn a lot about ranch-ing. For example, I know how to feed a bottle calf. I watch my dad and grandpa brand, so I will know how to do it. This is what agriculture means to me." — Adee Tronrud, 4th grade, Tronrud Ranch
"To me, agriculture means hard working people that help and support people around the world. Being a rancher, I wake up before the sun and get things done. The first thing I do everyday, even on a school day or weekend, is to get up and let my sheep out of their pen. One thing I have discovered out of experience is sheep are somewhat smart. One of the things I love about ranching is horses. I have four wonderful horses: two full grown geldings, Kawliga and Amigo, one filly named Sunset and one pony named Spotsey. Without these four wonderful horses, my life today would not be what it is. I am super proud of all my horses, especially Sunset because I bought her with my own money. At the end of the day, getting off your feet is a reward to me. Agriculture is the backbone of my life and it amazes me how my everyday life I love affects so many different people." — Paige Wertheimer, 3rd grade, Cooney Brothers Ranch
"I have cows. I am a rancher. We ride horses and we have dogs. I have ponies and my very own calf. I ride my ponies a lot. I move my cows and I play with my dogs. I have a milk cow. She is nice. In calving season, I check cows with my dad. In branding season, I get up very early to go to brandings. It is fun." — Ryal Carroccia, 2nd grade, Carroccia Ranch