The road that takes our food from fields to our plate may never cross the minds of grocery shoppers. Most people are far removed from life on the farm and even I was one of them. I never thought about the farmer when my mom placed down a delicious, golden brown chicken divan casserole on the table. I did not think about the hours a farmer spends tending to his flock of chickens, the laborious work of the dairy farmer to ensure his cows are healthy and cared for, or the farmer in the fields checking on the broccoli plant’s growth. Now that I have got you hankering for some good home cooking, I’ll introduce myself.
Where I Came From
My name is Abby Laubach and I am in my final semester at the University of Delaware. I am a double major in Animal & Food Science and Agriculture & Natural Resources with a minor in Food and Agribusiness Marketing and Management. I am originally from a small town in eastern Pennsylvania just a little bit south of the Pocono Mountains. I was exposed to agriculture at a young age, even if I didn’t know it. My grandparent’s home sat next to a large field where a retired farmer kept a few head of cattle. I can still remember running to the edge of the field to ‘moo’ at all the cows. My father enjoyed listening from an upstairs window where he would ‘moo’ back to me, only reinforcing my idea that I was going to be the next Dr. Dolittle.
Since a young age I dreamed of working with animals so I started my journey at Delaware majoring in pre-veterinary medicine. My first semester of my college career, I was exposed to the world of animal agriculture. Within my first year, my eyes were opened to all the opportunities within agriculture and I decided to change my major and pursue a degree in animal science. Since my first days at Delaware, I have dabbled in the various aspects of animal agriculture including animal behavior, nutrition, genetics and physiology. But most of all, learning about agriculture has cultivated pride in our food system.
Where I am Going
Recently, I was forced to look at my future, every college kid’s worst nightmare. I had the assignment of completing a career report, an in-depth explanation of what I planned to do with the rest of my life. After some serious soul-searching, I realized that all my career paths had one underlying commonality; I wanted to help farmers succeed. The passionate individuals who work tirelessly day in and day out to put food on the plates of Americans all across the country; the same individuals who were instrumental in the chicken divan casserole that my mom made all through my childhood.
Today, there seems to be a lot of negativity that swirls around the agriculture industry. Documentaries and news articles that falsely demonize some of the hardest working individuals who put the food on your family’s table. Instead of giving in to fear-mongering mass media, ask someone who lives and breathes agriculture. We are right here in plain sight, and we would love to share our passion and knowledge with you! One last thing to remember, if you ever happen to stumbled upon a farmer, say thank you, they deserve it.