Agriculture in My Blood

Monday, May 20, 2013

(Intro by Cory Winstead, Account Manager at AgriVisor)  At AgriVisor we have had many employees come through our doors over the years. Each one has had an impact to the success of our company. Paula McGowan has been with AgriVisor longer than any other employee and below she discusses why she does what she has done for so long. Thank you for your years of service Paula and look forward to many more in the future. Hard to believe you did all that and still only 29!!

McGowan family nominated family of year

     When you work for an agricultural organization, people usually assume that you were raised on a farm. I come from a small farm town community(Waynesville, IL), but was not raised on a farm. I went to a high school that was in the middle of a cornfield (Olympia High School, Stanford, IL), which a large part of the community that belonged to that district were, and still are farmers and/or from Ag-related businesses. As a teenager, I worked many summers detasseling corn and walking beans. I remember those long hot days in the cornfield that seemed to go on forever, just like the corn rows. Even with that background, I came to work for Illinois Grain Corporation (later becoming part of GROWMARK) thinking the beans out in the field were green beans and all that corn was corn that was later served at the dinner table. 

     In 34 years of working at IAA, I have learned a lot. I am now an Assistant Market Analyst, and have passed my series 3 brokerage test with the FIA. As farmers call in and wait to talk to an advisor, I am able to discuss futures markets, trends, cycles, hedging, USDA reports and much more. I’ve come a long way baby!
     But I think back and although I was not raised on a farm, I have that blood in me. My father’s family farmed in Colfax, IL when he was growing up. They were even nominated for Farm Family of the Year in 1946. The photo above was published in the local paper along with other nominated families. On my Mother’s side, my grandfather was raised on a farm, and when he started a family, decided to venture out and start his own business. He built and started the Organ Oil Co. in Waynesville. His business was a thriving and vital part of the agricultural community, with most of his business delivering oil and fuel to farmers in the community.
     So, even though I was not raised on a farm, I believe I was raised with values of hard work and dedication. I have always had a deep appreciation and admiration for the farm community, which has grown along with my knowledge of agriculture.