I’m what you call a “city boy.” Honestly, I never thought as myself as a “city boy”, but I guess the title is fitting.

I grew up in Salem, Ohio. Moved to The Outer Banks of North Carolina, then lived in Cleveland’s little Italy. I considered haunted hay rides, backyard gardening and school field trips “farm experience.”

My entire knowledge of the agricultural industry can fit on a Post-It-Note and that’s if I’m careful to write as large as humanly possible. But, I’m not embarrassed by my lack of knowledge, I’m intrigued by it.

How could this happen?

The only time I’d think about agriculture is when I happened to see locally grown produce on the shelves of my neighborhood grocery store or when I stopped by a roadside farmers market.

“I’d like a dozen ears of corn, please. Thank you.”. That was it.

It wasn’t my fault, really. I grew up expecting my food in colorful boxes and flashy packaging. It was hard to consider the planting process when my rice-based cereal spoke to me in shapes of hearts, stars and horseshoes. Ah yes, the horseshoes, I loved those little guys.

I never really gave a second thought to agriculture.

I chose a career in something as far away from farmland as I could, art and entertainment journalism. It’s a cruel and twisted industry, but I braved the dangerous waters.

I plugged in, tuned in, turned on and connected, but something was missing. It was always the same story with different players. Hollywood’s sweetheart one second, black sheep the next.

So I packed my things into a tiny cardboard box, said goodbye to my contacts and quit.

So I’ve gone from the arts to agriculture. It’s more honest, agriculture. There’s no rumor mills or paparazzi or tabloids. Things move at a slow and steady pace. It’s refreshing.

It wasn’t clear to me (at first) how my previous experience interviewing celebrities, covering art battles and reporting on local and national musical acts would translate into agriculture and farming.

After some good old-fashioned self reflection, I came to a conclusion: Farmers are rock stars. With the world population estimated to reach 8 billion by 2025, they’re hard at work planting, growing and harvesting enough food to fill 8 billion bellies.

They deserve more recognition than Hollywood’s next big starlet. We elevate musicians and actors to the status of “heroes”, why not farmers? Farming is pretty cool, too.

I have a lot to learn, but where there is ignorance, there is room for enlightenment. As an agricultural outsider, my hope is to bring others along as I discover and explore the wondrous, magical and exciting world of agriculture.

Let it begin. Who wants me to come check out their farm?

Will is Farm and Dairy's newest writer. He's recently moved to Lisbon, Ohio where he lives in a church turned community theater. He enjoys writing (of course), theater and hiking.
Will Flannigan
View all posts by Will Flannigan