Ryan Matthews
Ryan Matthews
By Ryan Matthews
Leesburg
Guest columnist


A disturbing video recently surfaced of presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg belittling farmers, and claiming they do not have the “skill set,” “gray matter” or the ability to “think and analyze” that it takes to succeed in high-tech jobs.

This certainly sends the wrong message to youths and students who are passionate about one of Ohio's top industries.

As a past Ohio FFA state officer for two years, 4-H student and Junior Fair Board member, I know firsthand how these organizations cultivate students who are devoted to learning what it takes to become leaders in their community and pursue careers in the science, business, and, yes, technology of agriculture.

These programs not only help students' development, but ensures we have a next generation of workers who have all the skills needed to maintain the future of American food security.

Bloomberg's ignorant and insulting assessment that farmers simply "dig a hole, you put a seed in, you put dirt on top, add water, up comes the corn" is grossly out of touch with the hard work and passion of those who work on Ohio's family farms.

Farming is certainly a technology job, requiring every bit as much "gray matter," as Bloomberg puts it, as other tech jobs. Belittling the next generation of agricultural workers should disqualify a candidate from public office.

Any presidential hopeful should encourage students to pursue careers in agriculture – because the future of farming is bright in Ohio.

Ryan Matthews recently completed an internship with the American Farm Bureau Federation in Washington, D.C. During his internship, Matthews used his communication skills to assist in a range of projects. He is completing a degree in agricultural communications at The Ohio State University.