What’s great about ag?
2005 Gothenburg High School grad shares top five list.
Andy Jobman is fortunate to be involved in something he loves.
Agriculture.Growing up in a family that raises corn, soybeans, alfalfa and manages a cow-calf and feeding operation certainly helped.
As did a desire to return to the family farm when, after receiving a degree in agronomy from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and working with an agronomist, the 26-year-old moved to Gothenburg in 2010.
Jobman works for Jobman Farms and also has a crop consulting business called Jobman Agronomics.
In honor of National Agriculture Week, he shared a list of the top five best things about agriculture.
“You can operate your business how you want to,” he said. “There are so many different ways to farm.”
For example, producers can choose various methods to conserve moisture in soil such as no-till, ridge till or strip till and make all kinds of choices in other areas of farming.
Jobman said computer technology in the past 10 years has greatly changed how farmers manage data.
Inputs, such as fertilizer and seed, managed through yield monitors, is just one example of various approaches to manage and use information, he said.
Because much of today’s society is several generations removed from the farm, Jobman said it’s important that the voice of agriculture is heard.
As a result, promotion of the industry has increased in recent years.
“People not involved in agriculture are making legislative decisions and it’s important to keep our voice loud,” he said.
The explosion of social media, which can carry the message for agriculture, is good for the industry, he said.
As is staying involved in groups that lobby on behalf of agriculture, Jobman said.
For example, Jobman is on the board of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association which explains agricultural issues to groups on Capitol Hill and throughout the state.
• Markets and return
Because of high demand and prices for corn and cattle in the past several years, Jobman said at least four GHS classmates have returned to Gothenburg to grow crops and raise livestock.
Spin-off from agriculture offers many chances for other businesses and industries, Jobman said.
“Think of everyone in Gothenburg who helps out farming,” he said.
Jobman said banks, implement and vehicle dealers, cooperatives, insurance companies and more benefit from their connection to agriculture.
“Agriculture isn’t a narrow niche of the economy but a huge driver,” he said.
• 2013 challenges
Looking ahead to the 2013 growing season, Jobman said moisture is the biggest factor as it was last year.
Because of high corn prices, farmers are planning to plant record amounts.
When they do, and if ample moisture materializes, Jobman said prices will be driven down because of a saturated market.
Buyers, who have looked to oversea markets for cheaper grain, will hopefully return to U.S. sources, he said.
“Eight-dollar corn killed a lot of demand in general,” he said.
Jobman added that areas in eastern Europe and Russia are picking up the technology and obtaining the kind of seed and chemicals needed to produce good yields.