A nice thing about having my own column is that I can get on a soapbox about something I believe in.
Since this is a column about precision farming, it will get there in a roundabout way.
A couple of news items in the past few years have made me wonder how society values talent.
A national beauty pageant was held a few years ago in which a contestant gave a soliloquy on her career as a nurse for her talent com-ponent. It was a compelling, passionate and thoughtful speech, but it did not win.
She was criticized by one talk show, which comprises a group of women talking and drinking coffee, as not having a talent.
I realize it was an opinion, but they were disparaging this woman by saying nursing was not a talent.
I have also watched the TV show America’s Got Talent. In one particular performance a gentleman would swallow coins: quarters, nickels, and dimes. He would then ask somebody to request an amount of change, such as 35 cents. He then regurgitated the coins to provide the correct change requested by the person.
Is this really a talent?
Related to this topic are award shows: the Emmys, the Oscars, Grammys, the list could go on.
There are talented actors who provide an entertainment value, but do we really need to have award shows to recognize them?
I believe that the nurse in the beauty pageant is the real talent.
I will go even further and say that thousands of talented teachers, plumbers, auto mechanics and police officers go unnoticed every day and they are the people who deserve the award shows, acclamation and recognition instead of a guy that can regurgitate a quarter.
These people are technicians, possibly with a one-year degree or maybe an advanced professional degree, and they help our countries function. They know their jobs and do them with skill; sometimes with an artistry that is unnoticed.
There are millions of other people who are talented in their jobs and yet there are few award shows to recognize these people.
So it pains me to hear a group of women who earn a healthy salary — I’m not guessing how much, but I’m pretty sure it’s more than I get paid for writing this column — sit around a table and talk critically about whether a nurse’s career is a talent.
Nursing care is most definitely a talent and more so than being able to talk and drink coffee at the same time.
In precision farming, technicians are key and we need more talented ones. The agricultural industry is looking for technicians who enjoy what they do, are knowledgeable about their jobs and are doing something of value. Or, in other words, are talented.
The key to talent, whether it involves acting, talking and drinking coffee or regurgitating quarters, is passion. Passion for one’s career means not only being excited about it but understanding the importance of it.
My advice for managers looking for good precision farming technicians is to seek out young people who are passionate about agriculture and technology.
You may find them in high schools, technical colleges or coming into one of your retail locations as a customer.
My advice for high school students looking for a career is to figure out what you enjoy. Be honest with yourself as far as what gets you excited and not just superficial video games and sports. Know what your skills are and build those skills to form your passion.
Find something that you have a passion for and you too can be considered talented. Just don’t wait for a nationally televised award show.
Terry A. Brase is an agriculture consultant, precision agriculture educator and author. BrASE LLC. Contact him at email@example.com