New Underwood student to present ag essay in Washington D.C.

NEW UNDERWOOD S.D. – A teenager in New Underwood will be on a national stage in Washington D.C. this week.

Grace Brose will go before the National Press Club presenting her essay on the importance of agriculture in small town America.

Grace looks to bring the values of West River’s Ag communities straight to the Nation’s Capital.

“It’s nice to be able to prove that a girl from small town South Dakota can earn a seat at the table,” Grace said.

Grace is a senior at New Underwood High School. In her search for scholarships, she entered the National Ag Day essay contest. Young writers were asked to answer the prompt: “Agriculture, food for life. How Does Our Nation Lead The Way?”

Grace wrote about her experience in the Ag lifestyle, working around the clock, maintaining a ranch, and feeding the world.

“People are still dying of something that is still completely preventable, which is starvation” Brose said. “With the world population growing, I think it’s going to become more and more prevalent,” she said.

Grace was born and raised in Williston, North Dakota. On her grandparent’s ranch, they taught her the values of hard work.

“Always wanting to be riding in the tractor with my grandpa or wherever he was working working, that’s where I wanted to be too. That was something that I loved.”

And after moving to South Dakota, those values have become even more ingrained. Grace says people who live in urban communities don’t always understand the hard work that goes into ranching and farming. She says solving the world’s problems begins with all of us, no matter where they live.

“It starts out for a lot of people, 80 acres and that’s what its been for my family, and you just grow and build from there.”

Grace’s full essay can be read below:

How Does Our Nation Lead the Way?

By Grace Brose

“There’s a little boy, out in the front yard with a beat-up toy truck, filling the back end full of dirt, only to dump it all out and start over again. Pretty soon that little boy is a teenager, and he finds himself trying to rock that old Ford out of some rut, thinking he may have underestimated how much it rained last night. In the blink of an eye, he’s a newlywed, breaking ground on a two-bedroom, white-picket-fence dream. He’s ready to plant some roots. Well, now that little boy is an old man, and in his two hands, you can see years of hard work and sacrifice. Every blemish is its own story. Those hands are strong enough to plow and plant, and sweat and bleed, yet gentle enough to raise a family.

That is the story of farmers and ranchers all across the country. That is the story of generations of my family, the reality of many of my fellow rural Midwesterners, and a great source of pride. That cannot be the end of the story, though. The world population is ever-growing, and those old men cannot plow and plant forever. Now is the time for my generation to step up and step in because agriculture is more critical than ever.

Agriculture is a science. Like any science, it is continuously changing. It is no longer just 80 acres and a dream. It is precision ag, genetically modified organisms, cover crops, no-till techniques, innovative pesticides, and more! Innovations in technology, transportation, architecture, and even medicine mean nothing when people are dying of starvation. The global population growth is not slowing down, and I am not exaggerating when I say being able to feed that population is paramount in sustaining life on Earth. The Midwest, the United States, and the entire globe must realize the importance of modern agriculture.

With that said, I am infinitely proud of the life my family has been able to build through the generations. I am proud of a farmer that will spend several months and thousands of dollars cultivating the ground, planting his crop, and watching it grow, only to have it blown away in a storm a few weeks before harvest. I am proud of a rancher that will be up multiple times in the night during calving season to check on his cows but still shed a tear watching a mama cow lay beside its stillborn calf. Most of all, though, I am proud that one day, I will be able to combine the traditions of my family with the needs of the world. That, indeed, is something beautiful.”


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