The Taylor family places a high value on traditional farming and raising their livestock with care. Like her family, Hannah Taylor loves and respects agriculture. She is involved with her family farm with plans to further her career in agriculture.
Q: What inspired you to pursue a degree in agricultural studies?
A: I have always loved all aspects of agriculture. With agricultural studies, I have the flexibility to take classes in areas like animal science, agronomy, agriculture business, entomology and more. With this major, I am able to broaden my knowledge in all areas of agriculture.
Q: As a child, what attracted you to and discouraged you from the idea of returning to the farm?
A: I always envisioned being on a farm, whether it be my family’s or my own. My parents always wanted me to know that if I wanted to be on the farm they would make room for me. Being the youngest of three with two older brothers interested in farming was the only thing that might have discouraged me.
Q: How did the Niman Ranch Next Generation Scholarship help you achieve your goals?
A: The scholarship allowed me to pay for a significant amount of my education as well as study abroad. I traveled to Uruguay in South America where we learned about agriculture in that country. This strengthened my worldview of agriculture and the economy while in college.
Niman’s scholarship contributions do not go unnoticed. The Next Generation Scholarships have helped so many students further their education. Without the scholarships, we would be behind in our education financing and, ultimately, behind with our future success as farmers.
Q: Why is the Niman Ranch Next Generation Scholarship important for students from a farming background?
A: As young farmers, we know we have an important role in the agriculture industry in the many years to come. It is our responsibility to gain knowledge on new trends, technology and studies in farming practices across the United States to be better farmers.
Coming from a farm, my parents are self-employed. If the farm has a bad year financially, we do too as a family. Income for famers can be very unstable so receiving the Niman Ranch Next Generation Scholarship was something I was always very appreciative of.
Q: What is the best part about growing up on a farm?
A: First of all, growing up on a farm helped me find my passion for agriculture early on. Some of the most valuable lessons I have learned in life were from the farm. Some of these include not quitting until the job was done, responsibility, effectively communicating, thinking critically and much more. I would not be the person I am without the farm upbringing that I am so thankful for.
The best part of growing up on a farm was being able to explore the world and learn first-hand about life, growth and death or harvest, usually all within one year. Growing up on a farm taught me that there are a lot of obstacles and hard times in life, but learning from mistakes and trials will make a better farmer and person out of you.
Q: What is one thing you wish people who are not familiar with farming knew about life on a farm?
A: I wish people knew how much heart farmers put into their livelihood. Farming in not a 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. job. There are no weekends off and no holiday or vacation time either. Farmers make a very significant sacrifice to provide what the consumer wants from day to day. Like anything else, there are always a few bad apples that can give farmers a poor reputation. Most farmers I know are remarkable stewards of the land, engineers, craftsmen, herdsmen, accountants, veterinarians, nutritionists, weather forecasters, mechanics and so much more. Farming is not just a job, farming is a livelihood.