Growing up, the decision of what to be for Halloween was always a tough one. I mean, how can you possibly make such an important decision, especially one you’re going to have to live with for an entire year! Ironically, I’m not sure that any of my decisions were all that special or had a very long impact.
But, I’m here to make sure that doesn’t happen for your little one (er, or college student that also plans to dress up and go out on the town….).
Why not use the excuse of Halloween to promote agriculture, celebrate important people in the industry, and smash a few stereotypes? Sure, some people may not understand immediately what your child is dressed up as, but that just presents the opportunity for you to explain the costume and why it’s so important in farming!
1. The Modern Farmer
The modern farmer isn’t just a farmer; he or she is a business professional, an entrepreneur, an economist, a handyman, and an environmentalist. And that’s just the beginning! To pull off this look, your little trick-o-treater has to ditch the overalls, prairie dresses, and hay and trade up for a more sophisticated look. It also doesn’t hurt if grandma and grandpa pitch-in to provide your youngster with their own mechanized mini-tractor to drive from house to house either.
How to Put the Look Together: Work boots, plaid shirt, dirty jeans, and favorite tractor brand ball cap. Accessorize with a tool belt, rain gauge, trade magazines, and smart phone equipped with apps to watch the stock market. Bonus: Find a seed dealer to provide the little one with a personalized coat to stave off the cool autumn wind!
An agronomist is in important figure on a modern farm. This crop specialist acts as a liaison between crop researchers and farmers, providing specialized and individual attention for each farm he or she visits. Often not a well-known figure, the agronomist provides instant feedback for fixing potential problems on the farm from soil health to pest problems and everything in between. Usually equipped with an advanced science degree, this is one person in agriculture that you’ll be happy your child chose to emulate!
How to Put the Look Together: Work boots, company shirt, and jeans. Accessorize with a clipboard and notepad, vials for plant and soil samples, and a couple pocket-sized field guide books on common pests.
3. Crop Insurance Specialist
Crop insurance is one of the best examples of a public-private partnership. It reduces the substantial risks of farming with minimal costs to taxpayers. It keeps family farms together when tough times hit, and it provides a sense of security for them when things are going well. Why not celebrate this all-important risk management tool by going door-to-door for candy dressed as your own crop insurance specialist?
How to Put the Look Together: Team up a pair of jeans and a t-shirt with a jacket baring the logo of your favorite crop insurance company. Make sure you complete the look with a clipboard, counter, and an insurance policy.
Most people affiliate a vet with their cat or dog, but what many may not realize is that a vet is a very important figure on an animal farm operation. No, unlike when you take your dog to the vet, farmers don’t throw a cow in the back seat of the car and walk them into the front door of the clinic with a leash. Usually, the vet will actually make a trip out to the farm. From overall health to birthing, vets are regular staple on farms to ensure that the animals are being properly cared for and looked after.
How to Put the Look Together: Pair jeans with a lab coat, stethoscope, and and some bottles of prescription medications. Make sure to carry around a toy cow or pig so that people can differentiate you between a small animal vet and a large animal vet.
The latest in necessary farm personnel – someone to tell your family farm’s story! The ag-vocate is a nice choice of costume for kids of all ages, incorporates a modern edge, and gives a nod of appreciation to modern agricultural communicators. With a public thirsty for knowledge about where their food comes from, this costume gives parents an excellent opportunity to discuss agriculture and encourages children to think outside-the-box for a future career (or hobby) related to farming.
How to Put the Look Together: Yoga pants, favorite farm brand t-shirt, and hair thrown up in a messy bun. Accessorize with a laptop and camera. Bonus candy for any kid that makes The Farmer’s Daughter USA his or her homepage!