Friday, April 17, 2009

A Passionate Essay...

I found this over on Allan Nation's blog:
"The Japanese government said agriculture is one of the few industry’s that could provide much needed jobs in the current economic environment and has earmarked $10 million to send 900 young, unemployed workers to farm training schools. So far, there have been ten prospects for each slot. Each candidate must write a passionate essay about why they want to be farmers to be considered. "
Mr. Nation's post continues on to say that 2 out of 3 Japanese farmers are over the age of 65 and that one Japanese economist believes that if that trend isn't reversed. Of course if Japan's agricultural system goes like ours here in the U.S. they won't need to replace all those farmers they are losing because the farms and everything else will get bigger. But, that is a discussion for another day (I don't have the energy to think about it now).

What really hit me after reading that quote was the essay thing. If I had a 10% chance to getting the farming job and had to write an essay in order to secure the position that I passionately wanted what would I say?

Would I talk about the family that I need to provide money for (which may be one of the top things in Japan at the moment)? Would I discuss my love for the land and the food we eat? Would I make sure to touch on the importance of keeping food production in our own country? What exactly would I write about...

I think that thought is an interesting one, and probably it is even one that all farmers (or beginning farmers) should think about from time to time. One big thing of mine is that we need to work in our passions, so if I cannot be passionate about farming (and the way I farm) then I don't think I should farm because I probably won't be as successful as someone that is completely sold out on what they are doing.

My question to you ... What would you write in your passionate essay?

1 comment:

Rich said...

I don't know if I could adequately express my reasons for farming in an essay. I'm also not sure if a government official or someone in academia would be my first choice to determine who had the 'proper amount' of passion to farm based on their essay.

Why is the Japanese government awarding the farm training to the most 'passionate' essayists, when the main focus of the economic plan seems to be based on the increased amount of employment possible in agriculture? It sounds like a typical government program designed to fix a problem that can't be fixed by government.

The fact that 2 out of 3 farmers are over 65 tells me that existing farmers are the ones that should be both training and determining who should be trained to replace them because they are already displaying the 'passion' that is supposedly so desirable by the government.

I suspect that the government is simply interested in finding jobs for the unemployed, increasing agricultural production, and is trying to avoid public outcry over forcing older farmers into retirement and off of their land (how else would they get enough farmland?).

Of course, the fact that 2 out of 3 Japanese farmers are over 65 proves that passion is an important part of farming, (why else would they continue to farm?), but that doesn't mean that governments should distort and exploit that passion to justify or hide their self-serving desires.

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