Greeley’s article, What I Know of Farming, illustrates advantages that farming career has over other professional vocations like medicine, law, and reaching. The author explains that farmers have a wide market catchment that covers the whole world. Nevertheless, Greeley’s article also observes that successful farmers are faced with many challenges such as weather, pests, and diseases. Those aspiring to do farming should not be scared of the challenges because all other professions have problems that are unique to them too. This claim paper isolates various ideas brought by Greeley then assesses their validity. The paper agrees with some positions taken by the author while objects to some facts.
The article was written in the late 1800s when most technological advancements had not been done. The date of publication makes some points obsolete as a result of the present progress in business and agriculture. Greeley explains that he would be wrong to claim that farmers are the only upright people in society (Greeley, 1871). I agree with his claim that farmers can also be selfish and corrupt people. Anybody can be a farmer irrespective of his social and ethical values. The open window can consequently attract people from all walks of life into farming. The good and bad people can practice farming. People possessing various temperaments can take farming as a vocation. Greeley’s position is intended to humble farmers who could be proud of their venture. I concur with the author that virtuous people are also found in other professions like law and medicine among others.
Greeley explains that life could continue even if farmers were absent. I do not agree with this position fully. In my understanding, farmers form the basic unit of economic production in the country. Without food, life would be absent. However, it is true that all other professions are also vital and necessary as illustrated by the author. Doctors, builders, teachers are equally necessary. These other non farming professions actually help to support life. Furthermore, without doctors, even farmers would have a very short life span. Where would farmers live if builders were absent? The correlation between different professions is vital. We all need one another. Doctors sometimes get in demand that even farmers have to leave all else to seek for medical attention. Furthermore, the harsh environmental conditions can sometimes affect farmers’ produce to the extent of one wishing that they never pursued farming.
Farming profession has dynamic challenges that can make one to lose heart. Greeley recognizes that even though farming has all the listed challenges, he would still advise his children to pursue agriculture (Greeley, 1871). It is true that farmers face challenges from nature, weeds, pests, and price fluctuations. There were accidents when the wild storm took away a whole field of corn that was near harvest. Such massive loss can discourage a person from pursuing a career in farming. However, from my perspective, Greeley writing came at a time when development in the financial and insurance sector had not matured. It is worth noting that today farmers can get insurance cover for their plants and livestock. Comparatively, farmers still get profit despite the unpredictable adversities that can sometimes befall them. Farmers normally have unlimited market for their produce (Friends of the Earth, 2000). Even though the market form one type of produce while others might reduce, a farmer can scheme to know what other products have a peak season.
Greeley is right to warn aspiring farmers of the potential risks that might happen due to storms, diseases, pests, and low production. Just like any other business, farming has its own share of challenges. As much as Greeley detains risks that come with farming, he needs to open to his audience the truth that no particular career is a bed of roses. All careers face challenges in equal measure. For example, industrial companies and manufacturers of plants can easily catch fire and burn to the ground. In the sphere of medical care, there are doctors who contract deadly diseases in the process of treating patients. Business men have sometimes lost the whole of their merchandise in the hands of robbers. There are many examples of risks that equally exist in all other professions.
Success in farming is possibly but with much coordination, determination, and support from family and friends. Greeley recognizes that a farmer can ultimately succeed if he puts a much needed labor in his farm. It is true that the determined farmer will still encounter challenges. Determination and hope will, however, bring success in the midst of challenges. In my opinion, challenges exist in any field of life. One of the ways to conquer challenges is to walk with support group. There are a number of people who benefit by walking with mentors before launching into their personal journeys. A young farmer needs to get attached to a senior farmer to learn the basics of agriculture before launching alone. I also support Greeley’s idea of support from help mate. The character in reference at this point could be a wife or a husband. Spouses need to support one another not only in farming but also in other business ventures. A lawyer, doctor or a teacher might not achieve maximum efficiency of their spouse opposed their engagement in the profession.
Real wealth comes over time and takes a process that is gradual but consistent. As illustrated by Greeley, farming is a career that ultimately gains profit albeit slowly. It is true that a farmer is eventually wealthy even if it might take many years to achieve. A profession like law and medicine, on the other hand, can fail to recover after negative publicity. A lawyer who is found guilty of corruption might never win clients in his or her life. A doctor who is found guilty of impropriety in one particular case might lose all his/her acquired clients. A farmer can, however, recover and run into profit even after many seasons of struggle and loss. With vision, focus, and determination, a farmer can bounce from loss to profit following successive years of hardship (Brisson & Azarian, 2014). As practice shows, a farmer can also try one crop even after one crop failed to yield. The flexibility and dynamism in possible products also make farming a career of priority.
Farming has low competition compared to other professions. I agree with Greeley‘s claim that farmers rarely suffer as a result of competition (Greeley, 1871). Increasing the number of farmers in a given region does not reduce the produce of profit that a farmer would get. While other professions could suffer due to competition, more farmers would only make the living standards of a community to be better. It is true that other professions cannot remain in the same level of profit if the service providers are increased. As noted by Greeley, doubling the number of lawyers in a city might make some to go hungry due to lack of clients. However, a farmer will always have a place to take their produce. In fact, the more farmers work, the better it is for the country and the stronger the bargaining power of the unions.
Greeley further asserts that a farmer will always have his produce sold irrespective of his moral standings or scandals that could smear his name. I do not agree with this statement fully. In the present day of farming, people operate under companies. A lot of technological inventions make information transmission so easy and convenient. The Internet technology, for example, provides a platform through which people can share information about issues from one country to another. An evil committed by a director of one company can result into loss when people refuse to buy a product. In the present age, there are a variety of companies and brands so that clients can select what company to purchase from. Furthermore, maintaining a stable state of mind and value system is not only beneficial to business but also to life in general. Greeley’s point, however, makes sense in his application to other regular professions. He confirms that a lawyer’s bad name will make business low. A medical facility that is broadcasted for negligence might not get clients for some time. Businesses must endeavor to have a good public reputation to remain in business and enhance profitability. Big businesses have collapsed because their directors were involved in scandals. A business that is investigated for terrorism links, for example, can be avoided by clients making it collapse.
Farmers profit in all seasons irrespective of their political, religious, or social belief standings (Greeley, 1871). This claim by Greeley is true because clients are only interested in the produce and not a farmer himself. As a matter of fact, a farmer never interacts with clients. Distributors come from the city to pick farm produce and not a farmer. The distances that exist between a farmer and the market make it easy for him to have some strange social, religious or political ideologies without interfering with his sales. A lawyer, doctor or teacher must interact with clients face to face. For instance, one democrat doctor can sometimes feel offended to treat people who take very strong stands on a political issue of contrast. Muslims have also developed Muslim compliant hospitals hence bringing partial religious discrimination in health care facilities. A farmer, however, has his goods sold with no regard to his associations.
Professions of all kinds should be pursued as long as workers receive earnings that can sustain their daily lifestyle. I agree with Greeley’s take that all careers have benefits and can equally make one successful in life (Greeley, 1871). I have seen some lawyers boast of superiority above other professionals. However, it is worth noting that farmers, doctors, teachers, and lawyers all have a potential of excelling in a career if determination and hard work is applied. There are many doctors who have more wealth and respect than lawyers. The reverse is also true that many teachers and doctors have more money than some farmers. People should also understand that success in life is not only found in material wealth but in many other variables of life. Self respect, strong social and family values, good health and friends are a form of non financial wealth that is very vital in life.
Farming is indeed a better career as illustrated by Greeley’s article. Farmers have a variety of products to deliver in the market. This means that a loss in one crop should not scare away a farmer. Instead, a farmer can progress into trying another crop that could ultimately bring profit. It is worth noting that a lot of hard work needs to be put in agriculture. A lazy farmer will ultimately bow to the pressure from weather, pests, and diseases that can occasionally attack crops. Farmers also have a wide market that will take time to be satisfied. People eat every day hence the relevance of farmers, new inventions like insurance can help farmers cushion against total loss from the adverse storm, pests, or diseases.
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