By Isabelle Bouchard

Most of us live in cities. In suburbs, in fact. We go to school and, when it’s time to choose a career, we don’t often think of jobs we don’t see every day. Jobs like farming. The teachers and professionals who support us during our education are also mostly urban people. So, we are not pushed to think outside our comfort zones.

How many people feel locked in, even a prisoner, to their daily routine? With long commute to and from work (in normal times) and days spent sitting at a desk or working in a factory – their only chance at fresh air and sunlight on breaks that always seem to go by too fast? Most people. Because often that’s life in the city.

Some of us are meant to be outside. To care for land and/or animals. To work in an environment where nature and/or machinery can determine your workday.

If you’ve thought about making a life change…maybe consider working on a farm. Become Canadian Farmer 2.0.

While there are – unfortunately – still way too many stereotypes about agri-life, work on and around our farms has changed so much in the last few decades. Tractors, for example, now have more technology than some cars. You can program your tractor’s GPS with your field dimensions and the tractor will sow the field, almost by itself. Harvesting equipment is also very high-tech.

For those who have animals, technology is a helping hand. For dairy farmers, milking and feeding robots are now part of their development plans. Of course, the love of animals is very human and no robots can replace the human touch.

It seems there is a software for almost every agriculture worker’s needs. Any tech savvy gadget geek would enjoy themselves on a modern farm.

In short, agriculture is literally at the forefront of innovation and the economy of tomorrow. Why wouldn’t you get on board?!

A long, long, long (!) time ago, parents who had a farm would do everything so their kids would get an education so they could leave the farm and build what they thought might be a better life. They would sometimes identify the kid with the least potential and keep this one on the farm to assure a future for him or her. But not anymore! It takes a good head and fit body to be able to work on a farm successfully. It takes courage, imagination, and a knack for solving problems, to plan what crops should go on what field and be able to adjust quickly to changing environments.

It also takes financial knowledge along with good provision planning and negotiation skills. Canadian Farmer 2.0 could easily be an MBA grad, some of them actually are!

Someone working on a farm today needs to be strong in many spheres of activity and be a leader. Because, while it may look like a lonely job, there is always a team working together to make a farm succeed. The farmer, like a CEO, is the one building the team of all kinds of different professionals that all work toward a common goal the farm’s success.

Living in the country and working on a farm is not some unrealistic dream. It’s possible for anyone who wants it. Farmers are welcoming and always helping others who need it.

The downside is that the recognition of your hard work does not come from strangers. It comes from the satisfaction of knowing you did your job well. And as anyone who’s left one career for another will tell you, that’s more rewarding than any stranger’s encouragement.

February 22 is Canadian Agriculture Day, take a moment to thank a farmer in your social media. (And be sure to tag @FoodFaits!)