Love Grows on NC Farms

NC State Crop Science Student Lindsey Tyson and fiance in front of tractor

Where I Come From

Row under corn plants

Lindsey Tyson grew up on a tractor in Spring Hope, North Carolina.  For five generations her family has farmed 150 acres, including a mix of chickens and varying row crops.  From the tobacco and sweet potatoes of her grandfather’s days to the current rotation of corn, wheat, and beans, it’s been an evolving transition in response to market changes. 

Lindsey’s childhood responsibilities ranged from grass cutting to egg collecting and never-ending repair work.  But she loved the tractor seat best. “I liked the idea of working the land of past generations. I would sit and think about how much has changed – how they used to work this land with mules, walking every acre,” she said.

A Farm Kid

Being from a family farm was different she says.  “It means [you’ve shed] blood, sweat, and tears to build what you have.  And being thankful for all you have in life.” While she admits a love/hate relationship with those early childhood farm chores, it was the experience of working side by side with her father that fostered her desire to pursue a career in agriculture. “I liked working with my daddy – being his right hand. It was hard work but happy memories,” she said.  

“It’s Harder Than You Think”

Lindsey describes the pressure of family farm life – from uncertain livestock contracts to weather extremes, and basic farmer burn out.  “I wish everyone had to work on a farm once in their life to learn that it’s hard work. And I wish they could see how much farmers care for their animals and land. If we lose that – well, it’s our livelihood.” 

Even though the challenges [of farming] are difficult, it’s still something I love and enjoy.

She watched her father successfully navigate the changing farming pressures and maintain the family business.  “Even though the challenges [of farming] are difficult, it’s still something I love and enjoy. It will always be a part of what made me who I am.”  Both she and her brother helped as needed on the farm but only she has chosen to stay in the ag business.  “I think my parents are happy I’m planning to farm.  But they always pushed [my brother and me] to pursue whatever we want to do.”

Knowledge in Practice

Lindsey transferred to NC State through the community college system and quickly found a home on State’s campus. “The professor that inspired me most during my time at NC State would have to be Dr. Patterson. He was always there with a smiling face and a positive attitude to help push you to further yourself. His passion for agriculture is so inspiring and the excitement in his eyes when he took us on field trips to research farms. His class was the first class I had when I transferred to NC State and being able to sit in his class every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday was such a joy. I am thankful for all the lessons he taught me not only about agriculture but about life as well,” 

She is currently a senior majoring in Plant and Soil Sciences graduating in May 2020.  Her career plans are to work in chemical or seed sales or possibly as an agronomist. “My [college] studies gave me a solid foundation of agronomic basics.  Then, hands-on work helped me put it into practice,” she said. She spent a summer interning with Parkway Agriculture in Hertford, NC where she delivered seed and chemicals and helped farmers scout crops for insects.  “I like being in the field because it was always somewhere new. And working with farmers – trying to troubleshoot with them.”

The internship exposed her to a variety of real-world skills: mixing fertilizer blends, collecting soil and tissue samples, and recording grain harvest analytics.  The experience was both a resume and a confidence boost in a historically male industry. 

Clearing HurdlesNC State senior Lindsey Tyson in cotton field

“Agriculture lets me combine two things I love – working the land and helping farmers,” she said.  She is undeterred by the hurdles ahead. They aren’t new. “The best advice my daddy ever gave me was to not let anyone put me down for being a female.  Anything I wanted to learn he was willing to teach me… It’s still a male-dominated industry, but I’m ready,” she said with a smile. “NC State has prepared me for the challenges in my future by providing me with resources to get the answers I need when I am facing a problem.”

New Roots

Her family’s farm includes both livestock and row crops.  But Lindsey sees her future in rows – and the sun is shining on both her career and personal life.   

I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Lindsey is putting down her own personal roots.  She is currently engaged to Chris Eure, an NC State Crop & Soil Sciences alumnus, also from an eastern North Carolina farm (Eure Family Farms, Inc.). And wouldn’t you know, his family farms the same rotation of corn, wheat, and beans that Lindsey has studied. A match that must delight her new family. 

After Lindsey’s graduation and the upcoming wedding, the couple plans to live on and farm his family’s land in Hertford, NC, carrying on the shared family business.  “Our families are both happy we have the same goals – to raise a family, grow the farm, and leave a legacy with our kids. I can’t imagine doing anything else.”     

Want to Explore Your Own Career in Agriculture?

We can’t promise everyone a love connection, but we can offer a personal email tour of our Crop & Soil Sciences Department and degree programs.  You can stay connected to all the latest news and research from the Department of Crop & Soil Sciences by joining our Friends of Crop & Soil Sciences newsletter. We are #growingthefuture.