Karina Jones is a real-life ranch wife in the Nebraska Sandhills and one of the most highly sought-after speakers in the cattle industry nationwide!
“We need to abandon the cut and dried formula of a period when a man was ‘educated’ only when he knew Greek and Latin.” 1905, Henry Wallace, Editor Wallace’s Farmer. I immediately felt that when I read that quote! 117 years later and I feel like we are coming full circle. There may be no better time than now than to celebrate and fight for ag education and FFA in our school.
In the early 1900’s many felt that American education had fallen off track with what our country needed. Three quarters of America lived and worked in rural areas at that time but the education system was still driving kids to learn Latin and memorize poetry. Probably the reason why most kids only had an 8th grade education is because after all, you only need so much Latin to go back to the farm. Infact, only 4% of kids went on to high school at that time.
In 1917 the Smith Hughs Act was signed into law and provided federal funds for technical education. This meant that ag education, home economics, and trades were finally funded in public school. This was the first step in transforming ag education and giving rise to what was to come.
In 1925, Virginia Tech agricultural education teachers organized the Future Farmers of Virginia for boys in agriculture classes. The FFV served as the model for the Future Farmers of America, FFA.
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Karina ranches with her husband, Marty, and 3 daughters near Broken Bow, NE. She grew up in western NE, with roots also in southwest SD. The cattle industry and raising kids is her passion.
Watching the cattle industry go the path that it has gone, she could no longer sit quietly at home checking cows, fixing fence, and doing all the everyday tasks wondering when some else was going to make it all better. As she became more active and outspoken on industry issues, she was asked to join the R-CALF USA staff in September 2020 as the Checkoff Petition Campaign manager. That position transcended into her current role as full time Field Director for R-CALF USA.
You can hear her almost every Friday on Your Ag Network’s Hot Barn Report that is broadcast on 60 radio stations with coverage in 9 states, where she deep dives into cattle industry issues and highlights R-CALF’s work on industry reforms. Listen to Ranch Raised on a Your Ag Network hometown station or www.youragnetwork.com where she talks about her daily life on the ranch.