By Isabella Chism, Vice Chair AFBF Women’s Leadership Committee, 2nd VP Indiana Farm Bureau

When I was 10 or even 20 years old I would not have guessed that my interest in math and science was related to agriculture in any way. We think we understand so much until we have a different perspective. I saw math and science as accounting, statistics and research. Then I married a farmer. I got my hands and everything else dirty while learning to drive tractors, raise pigs, plant and harvest corn and soybeans. I learned to watch the weather and crop prices, and calculate income, expenses and payroll. I had never imagined where math and science would have led me had I not experienced it.

Did you know that not all pigs are raised for bacon? Did you know that pig (porcine) heart valves have been used to save lives for over 30 years? I learned that agriculture touches my life every minute of the day and that math and science are used in agriculture every day.

There are so many career choices related to agriculture that you may never have imagined. A florist creates beautiful arrangements with flowers grown on a farm. A trucker hauls food or other items with a biodiesel-fueled semi-truck on a soy-based asphalt road. The corn we grow may be used for corn starch to cook with, to feed animals, for ethanol, whiskey, plastics, soaps or cosmetics to name a few.

The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture website highlights a wealth of information on careers in agriculture. It may be more challenging to find a subject or career not related to agriculture. What’s your perspective on food for life?