We’re not just Farmers. We’re agriculturists!

Before you read this post, I would like you to know that I do not intend offend anybody. I’m just ranting about this because I know that most of the students in my course feel the same way as I do. So, if you’re not a BS Agriculture student and you don’t care about me anyway, then you’re free to NOT READ ON. But if you’re interested about how I feel, then go! 🙂

Last Saturday (Sept. 7, 2013), my former elementary teacher, Sir Mark, had to attend a competition here in Los Baños along with his high school students. He said that they were in UPLB at that time, and fortunately, I was in UPLB as well. I was having my Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. lessons until 12nn and the competition was about to end at around 1pm according to him. So, as soon as my ROTC class ended, I hurriedly went to where he was. We’re very close friends even though he was my teacher in elementary. It’s like we’re family. I had to hurry coz I think they were about to leave for Cavite (that’s where he is currently residing). I found him with his students and we talked about some personal stuff and all. After all those mushy things, he offered me a ride home because he wants to show his students our former school.

I agreed for the free ride home, of course! And because we’re about to go around the UPLB campus, I told his students that I would give them a “tour”. First thing we saw is the College of Agriculture Administration Building. “That’s our admin. bldg!” I exclaimed. My teacher interrupted, “Oh yes, my dear students, that’s the office for the farmers!” and he laughed. I know that it was only a joke but I’m a bit hurt about it because even his student mocked me, “Oh really? I didn’t know that farmers have offices, too!”

First, let me ask you. What is agriculture? From Google’s search engine, it says that “Agriculture, also called farming or husbandry, is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi, and other life forms for food, fiber, biofuel, drugs and other products used to sustain and enhance human life.” Wow.

Here in my country, agriculture is equal to being a farmer. And farmers from here means poor. And who wants to be poor? NO ONE. When I entered college, I was expecting to become a communication artist. My mind was faaaaaaaar from becoming a BS Agriculture student. But fate lead me here. There’s a reason why I’m a BS A student. And I’m gonna find out that reason why, sooner or later. 🙂

Every BS Agriculture student probably felt the same way I have felt. In our campus, our course was the least to be picked. Others say that it’s the least popular course and most probably, SOON, everyone in our course will be extinctI SAY NO TO THAT! People tend to judge us so quick that we are “nothing” compared to Engineering, Arts and Sciences, and Economics students.

What hurts me the most is the part where some of my parents’ friends ask, “Where is your daughter studying?” They will shyly reply, “In UP.” Then their friends would be like, “Wow.” After that they will turn and ask me, “What course are you taking?” From the looks of their faces, they were pretty excited. And when I tell them, “BS Agriculture.” they will say, “Oh.” Well, if they’re expecting that I’m taking an engineering course, I would be pretty wowed myself! HA! Another thing is if I’m with my friends and we visit someone else’s house, people never get tired of asking our courses. My friends’ courses are like, industrial, electrical, computer, civil engineering, biology, applied mathematics, economics, etc. while I’m like *sigh* agriculture. All will be at awe with them but when it comes to me, it’s either, “Oh.” or “Ahhhhhhhh.”

Here’s another thing! Since Agriculture is considered the “lamest” course, other courses with Agriculture only with additional name on it is considered not lame. For example is, agribusiness management, agricultural economics or agricultural biosystems engineering. And most especially, agricultural biotechnology which is with the same college as ours. All would be wowed when they hear, “I’m an ABT (Agribiotech) student.” whilst if you’re a BS A student, you should be used to, “Oh.”

Anyway, what is being studied in Agriculture? IS IT ALWAYS ONLY ABOUT PLANTING RICE? Heck no. Agriculture is more than that. On our first year first semester, we were taught the basics in our “major” subjects. There is Botany and Zoology. We study plant physiological characters, their functions, the cell, etc. Also, we study about animals, the different systems in our body, classifications, bacteria, etc. Then on our second semester, we go to more specific fields like crop science and animal science. It was also basics but this time, different fields are being introduced like plant breeding in rice, seed dormancy, different parts of a beef and dairy cattle, a pig and a chicken, etc. At the end of our first years, some of the major fields are being introduced. And I’m telling you, we have lots of majors. I don’t know if you can consider it a lot, but it’s more than two, so it’s a lot! HAHAHAHAHAHA

According to the College of Agriculture UPLB site (https://ca.uplb.edu.ph/index.php/academics) we got 8 majors in all. We have

  • Agricultural Systems
  • Agricultural Extension
  • Soil Science
  • Animal Science
  • Entomology
  • Plant Pathology
  • Agronomy
  • Horticulture

but if I’m not mistaken, we also have Weed Science major though I’m not sure.

So you see, it’s not only all about planting rice! Agriculture is much more than that.

I took a course regarding Extension and it’s about helping the farmers to orient about the latest modern technology that can help them lessen the burden in farming, and extensionists are the ones that can be the bridge between the farmer and the government that can help.

Animal Science talks about more about how to manage a livestock farm. This is business. A huge business. For me, it’s very tedious but many student apply to have this as their major. Many say that, “Nasa AnSci ang pera.” It mainly focuses on the animals that we eat. And we all know, not many people are vegetarians.

Entomology is the study about segmented animals. But it mainly focuses on the Class Insecta rather than Arachnida. Insects and pests. This is what it’s all about. How to control and manage, pesticides and research. There are millions or billions of insects on the planet! I’m pretty sure I’ll get loads of salary from that. Wherever you go, insect. Fly, ant, mosquito. INSECT! HAHAHAHA. I’m planning to take this major though I’m not very of it, yet. I’m still thinking if I should go Entomology or Weed Science.

Plant pathology specializes in the diseases of plants. Fungi, fungi-like oomycetes, bacteria, virus, viroids and nematodes. But I’m sure there are lots to study but those are the basics. This is wow for me. It’s like you’re a microbiologist when you’re in this field. Microscopes, petri dishes, bacteria and all kinds of stuff.

I do not have any background regarding agricultural systems, soil science, agronomy and horticulture. Therefore, I can’t discuss it. But the only thing I know about soil science is that there is CHEMISTRY involved and in horticulture, there is LANDSCAPING but I’m no good at drawing so, goodbye Horticulture.

It’s not always about our major subjects we study, we also get to have General Education courses wherein we learn about Math and other Sciences, English-related subjects and sometimes others, like elective subjects. We can get electives like courses learning German, or Spanish or French! 😀 YAY!

See what I mean? We don’t study only about planting and plowing a field. Don’t judge a book by its cover. And besides, stop and think about it. Agriculture is everywhere. From your house, the raw materials that was used came from wood which came from plants. From your clothing, an example is silk which is from a cocoon that is under Entomology. From the food you intake, the oil used for frying or seasoning your food came from a specific plant, I bet! And of course, from the air that you breathe, it’s a product of photosynthesis!



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