Editor’s Note: Farm Credit has an active internship program for students who are interested in pursuing a career in agriculture. This series of blogs is written by our 2017 marketing interns, Morgan Figgins and BreAnn Fields. It will be featuring agvocates around our area monthly.
“One thing I have learned since getting involved in the ag industry is, if you want something, you work for it,” says Brandon McCabe, a Delaware native born and raised on a poultry and grain operation. His great grandparents, grandparents, and parents all lived on their poultry farm. Now Brandon, along with his brother, manages four of the poultry houses and Brandon lives in the same house that his great grandparents built back in the 1920s.
Growing up, Brandon was highly involved in the Delaware FFA Chapter at Sussex Central High School. During his time in the program, he competed in meat evaluation where he came in first place, ag mechanics where he came in second place, and was an FFA officer at the school. “I loved being involved in agriculture at school,” says Brandon. “I got to meet different people who shared the same interests as me.” Brandon traveled to many FFA competitions, including the National Convention in Louisville, Kentucky, and The Big E in Massachusetts.
“The agriculture industry encouraged me to go away to school,” says Brandon. “I wanted to play baseball and study ag business at the same time, and the only school close by that offered that was Delaware Valley College in Pennsylvania.” During his time at school, Brandon had the opportunity to interact with more people, travel more, and get away from what he has always known. “I gained a new appreciation for the agriculture industry and Delmarva from being away,” he says. “I realized how lucky I was to have been exposed to what I had in my hometown.”
Once Brandon graduated from Delaware Valley College he returned to his roots and landed an agriculture teacher position at the same high school he graduated from. His original plan was to move back home and expand the family farm, but once he began his career in education, he decided to do both. Through his teaching experience, Brandon has realized how much of an impact FFA and ag education has on students. “FFA taught me how to be prepared for the working world by talking, dressing, and acting in a professional manner,” says Brandon. “I am thrilled to be able to pass on what I have learned to the next generation.”
Growing up on the farm, Brandon loved every minute of it and he still does. It has taught him hard work and dedication. “Farming is every day, and there will be new problems that you need to learn how to fix,” says Brandon. Like any other passionate ag individual, Brandon was determined to make the best out of those tough days. He has truly dedicated his life to the industry. “I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Brandon says.
Brandon sees the future of ag continuing to grow, especially on the business and scientific side. “Science has proven that both conventional ag and organic farming are both healthy for you,” he says. With the technology evolving and the population continuing to grow, the agriculture industry is going to continue to provide jobs for many people across the world.
If you are interested in agriculture, right now would be the best time to get started. “Even if you don’t have an ag background, don’t be afraid to dive right into it,” says Brandon. He stressed that the agriculture community is always willing to help and listen to anyone new to the ag world. It is always good to have new people joining this industry, especially the FFA and 4-H programs. “Support your local FFA and 4-H programs,” says Brandon. “They are our future."