Consumer Education

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shorthornfan

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Joined
Mar 19, 2007
Messages
14
Ok, well I've been a SP lurker for a long time, but I think it's time to finally drop in and get some outside opinions from a good group of cattle people  :)  I'm looking for ideas about professions, and I figure many of you have probably been in my shoes before.  I'm currently a college sophomore majoring in Animal Science with a concentration in Ag Business.  I was pre-vet for a year, but there was just way too much science and I didn't like it one bit  :-\  I'm enjoying the ag business classes, but my favorites are probably the extra economics classes that I'm taking.  I was wondering what anyone's ideas were about jobs in this profession or how to use this degree.  I've also developed a strong desire to educate the 'city folks' in an effort to prevent them from making dumb decisions... eg. if you outlaw BST in dairy cattle, there will be less milk, thus the price of milk will rise and, though you want both hormone free milk and cheaper milk, you aren't likely to get them both at the same time.  Anyway, I would love to get more involved with consumers, educating them and trying to help them develop an appreciation for what we do... but I have no idea what kind of profession this would be or if I should be looking for a different degree???  Any help or thoughts would be greatly appreciated, as well as opinions on where to go from here or what to focus on.  I'm more than ready to work hard to reach my goals, I just need to find a direction to head in.  I have a lot of respect for the SP gang, and thanks in advance for your insight  :) 
 

DL

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Jan 29, 2007
Messages
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shorthornfan said:
eg. if you outlaw BST in dairy cattle, there will be less milk, thus the price of milk will rise and, though you want both hormone free milk and cheaper milk, you aren't likely to get them both at the same time. 

Welcome to the land of the unlurkers!  (welcome)

I do have a comment about your quote above - the use of BST results in increased milk production but you do not really have "hormone" in the milk - this is one of the areas that the organic milk producers are really capitolizing on - "Our milk is free of antibiotics, hormones and harmful pesticides" - implying that non organic milk is full of all that stuff when in reality the research apparently shows that the milk is basically the same it is just the way of production that is different (this of course doesn't answer your question! :)

I went to veterinary school after several other careers - I was amazed at what a versatile degree it is - there are virtually hundreds of things you can do with a DVM so don't dismiss it out of hand. Depending on what state you are in there is /are extension positions - however this is usually preaching to the choir which isn't exactly what you are looking for - have you considered something with ag communications? It might be worthwhile to spend some time shadowing people doing various things - ie farm bureau, cattlemans associations, livestock publications, extension, even a vet  ;D etc - I'll keep thinking - I am sure there will be other informed ideas from the planet dwellers,
 

knabe

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Feb 7, 2007
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Hollister, CA
read david hume, adam smith karl marx, concepts about the "tragedy of the commons", read about thomas jefferson on states rights before he was president and see what he did after he was president. college today is not challenging in  terms of economic principles. it is too wedded to sentimental imperialism.  read any book by nial ferguson    http://www.niallferguson.org/

in general, challenge yourself and don't rely on teachers to do that.  that said, don't allow your challenging yourself interfere with you limited exposure to facts interfere with their regurgitation on tests.

what are your goals.  they seem to be

change voters perceptions about issues so that free markets influence decisions as oppossed to idealism
educating city folk.  this is a difficult prospect with words alone, they need experience for empathy.
your analogy with BST is flawed.  a free market will set a price equilibrium, not arbitrary notions of what an affordable price is.  find out what a free market really is. 
what is appreciation?  money, less restrictive laws, more people in ag, hunter gatherer lifestyle.
what effective consumer educators are out there that you admire and are effective with your goals in mind
you should not focus in school, that's what grad school is for where you will be the world's expert on whatever thesis you choose to defend.  this alone will motivate you to rationalize it's tenet.
working hard is not enough, working smart isn't enough.  keeping your feet (brain moving) is.
find out what a ponzi scheme the american economic structure is
find out what subsidies do, then try and educate ag, not city folks their damage.
i'm thinking more and more we don't need to educate others, we need to develope successful business models as a means to tell others what to do.  people are soooooooo caught up in telling others what to do that i think they have a major for it and it's called child development.  child development is simply a major that seeks to extinguish independent thought of human beings as quickly as possible by setting rules, parameters, limits on a perfect brain for discovery to fit our needs.  if you watch a child or baby anything, they are a sponge and those that stay a sponge the longest become independent thinkers.  we don't like these people because they challenge us, so we extinguish that flame as soon as possible.  watch how a kid works, watch how they get feedback, see how they digest what works, crying is the easiest example.  test how fast you can get a child who is crying and you know it to be manipulative because at first crying is for hunger or pain, then is used for dependence, comfort, things that are addicctive, ie sugar.  this can beocme a game.  you will notice a little switch goes on and off in a child the instance they know the technique is not working.  watch a kid learn music and watch their eyes dialate.  this is called being in the zone.  get in the zone, these are called soft eyes.  you have only begun, you are not ending your learning.  respect is unnecessary.  get over your obsession with how dumb other people are.  this is only mild name calling and useless.  perhaps an avenue to pursue is law and the effect of outlawing anything in general.

i leave you with a quote by richard weaver

he "that accepts the reemmediability of a certain amount of evil and tries to fence it around instead of trying to stamp it out and thereby spreading it.  His is a classical asknowledgement of tragedy and of the limits of power."  this conundrum is the impetus for war.  it basically started WWII.

ok, one more thing      http://www.vega.org.uk/          it's a site of RETIRED people so don't think you can pay for health insurance on a salary working for them.  go discover, don't educate, it's what you are here for.  it's where we are going.
 

jason

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Mar 26, 2006
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Location
Emporia, Kansas
It is great to hear that your a goal oriented person and it sounds like you good idea of where you are heading.  The best thing I took from your post is that you will be doing something in a field that you have a passion about.

Too many people hate their jobs.  I recently graduated with a Computer Science degree and even though I am work on this site quite a bit and a few other sites, I am not directly in the field.

BTW, welcome to SteerPlanet  (welcome)
 

knabe

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Joined
Feb 7, 2007
Messages
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Hollister, CA
http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MjA0MzEzZWU3MGM1ZjZmZTAxNjg0ZTQyNTcyMWU4ZjQ=

found this link.  perhaps these are some of the people who need to be educated?  never a more usefull use of a graph have i seen in a long time.

another good source of graphs is any book by tufte
 

AAOK

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Joined
Jan 30, 2007
Messages
5,264
Location
Rogers, Ar
Back to the question of Career options:  Make sure you go into something you really enjoy.  If you like your economics courses, maybe you should consider Ag Econ as your major.  This degree is specific, but at the same time extremely versatile as to the career choices available.

You could affect government policy, assist in environmental conservation, manage a farm or ranch, help rural communities develop and grow, assist corporations in marketing farm products.  You can become a state conservation economist, commodities trader, accountant, loan officer, marketing manager, research analyst.  You could work for a media company, legal firm, higher education institution, or an international agency.

Identify your passion, and GO FOR IT!!  Statistics show you'll only stay in a career for 5 years. The average in a lifetime for Gen Y is now 8 - 10. Change is good. 

I'll end with a quote from Yogi Berra:  "You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there."
 

DL

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Jan 29, 2007
Messages
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I will also ad to AAOKs comments - if you find  you don't enjoy what you are doing once you get there don't be afraid to try something new - life is an adventure con't get stalled at a crook in the road ;D
 

shortdawg

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Jan 30, 2007
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Georgia
(welcome) Shorthornfan ! My advice to you about your career and degree choices would be to pursue an area you love to work in. If you love your job, you ain't working, you are enjoying yourself. By the way, nice quote at the bottom of your post.
 

OH Breeder

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Feb 14, 2007
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Location
Ada, Ohio
I always wanted to be in agriculture full time. But, with the death of my father and the price of equipment and land it just was not in the cards.  I did something so I would always have a job. I went to school and started working.I worked the the entire 8 years that I went to school. I have a few degrees in both healthcare , science and business. What it has given me is freedom in job choices but has also limited the size of our cattle operation. I love people and animals. So, I tried to find a way to balance both. I am doing something I never really thought of doing now. If you were to ask me a few years back would i be doing what i am doing today I would say NO.( Clinical Consultant for a Proteomics/biomarker discovery company)

The animlas by no means are an income but I can't give them up. I would probably be much farther ahead without them But, can't get it out of my blood.

I will tell you this. You will change your mind a 100 times and til you fall into something that you really enjoy. Keep you mind open in regards to career choices. Red had a career in sales in the ag field, a great way to keep involved in the ag world but also travel and sales. Get out and talk to people who are doing what you think you would like to do. And as others said, shadow people to see what jobs are really like.

By the way, belive it or not a nutrionist in the hospital educate people everyday about our food chain and whats in it.
Don't limit yourself.
 

red

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Jan 20, 2007
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LaRue, Ohio
Glad to see you joined us!

I'm w/ the others, find a field you really enjoy. Sales, marketing & internet development are all hot fields right now in ag. We're always going to need good sales people.
Also remember just because you specialize in a certain field doesn't mean you're stuck w/ it for life.
There are also many groups that are looking for speakers to represent them. If you like speaking talk to your local or state associations. you might find some potenital there.
Best of luck & keep at it!

Red
 

knabe

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Feb 7, 2007
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shorthorn fan, this by far is the most influential economic paper i have ever read

http://www.econlib.org/library/Bastiat/basEss1.html

you can wikipedia it if you prefer an abridged edition

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_broken_window


he's popular in libertarian circles, so that might scare you off.  they proliferate on lewrockwell.com  most of the authors will correspond with you, some are affiliated with the hoover institution which gets a neocon label for some reason, but really the institution has some breadth to it.
 
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