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Education And Training

There was a time when almost all farmers grew up on farms. They were naturals, ready to work the land as soon as they were big enough to hold a shovel. Today, however, you don't have to be raised in a farming family to become a farmer. All you need is a willingness to work hard and learn on the job. Other ways to gain experience before you even get out of school are by volunteering or apprenticing. Offer your services to a farm in your area. They probably won't be able to pay you much, if anything, but it's a safe bet they could use the extra help and can teach you all about the job.

Another good source of experience is through youth educational programs like 4-H and the National Future Farmers of America Organization. These groups teach kids the basics of farming and working with livestock. You can learn how to show animals at fairs and how to raise pigs and cows for sale; you'll also learn about the business side of farming. And speaking of business, be sure to take lots of math and computer classes in addition to any animal science courses you can get your hands on in high school. You'll need to be a solid number cruncher and know how to keep accurate records when it comes time to run your own business!

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