Spoken like a teen: Farm jargon and connecting with youth



Farming is a tough job. The increasing world population is being fed by fewer and fewer farmers each year. One of the challenges farmers face today is teaching youth what farming is all about.

Too many young people have no idea where their food comes from or what their local farmers do. We have previously thought that young people are not willing to learn, but maybe the issue is actually that they don’t understand.

Jargon can be a man’s worst enemy. If we think about farming jargon, there can be some concerning misunderstandings when communicating with the younger folk.

For example, “that cow is fresh” makes me think she just had a baby. But with today’s lingo, fresh means “fly.” So unless that fresh cow has a good sense of fashion, young people might need an explanation to what fresh means.

Other words such as thirsty, shook, shade, tool, and sleeping may be particularly triggering to young folk. Next time you are trying to explain your job to a teenager, try these translations:

I am a farmer.
“I am the CEO of farming.”

Careful of the rooster, he gets mean when you go near the hens.
“Check yourself at the rooster, he doesn’t pass the vibe check when you go near his hens.”

If you don’t weed the garden every week, weeds will take over the crops.
“Don’t sleep on the weeds, they mad intrusive.”

That’s the breeding bull, we keep him separate from the cows until breeding time.
“That’s Chad, he simps over the cows so he needs his alone time.”

This is my best goat, she makes 15 pounds of milk a day.
“This goat is the G.O.A.T. when it comes to making milk, she makes 15 pounds a day, no cap.”

The cows are out!
“Big yikes! Cows are out!”

Fresh eggs are way better than store-bought eggs.
“Fresh eggs just hit different.”

Jersey cows always know how to get themselves into trouble.
“Jerseys are a little sus, but it’s fine.”

I would like to expand the farm someday.
“Lowkey gonna make this place big someday”

Think these translations are silly? Well let’s flip this on the hip kids from the ’90s for a hot sec. You may not have had TikTok like the Gen Zers, but you surely had some lingo that your parents couldn’t understand!

I love living off the land, I have everything I need.
“Farming is all that and a bag of chips.”

I think I left the gate open!
“Did I close the gate? I’m totally buggin!”

Farming seems like fun, but it is a lot of work.
“Farming is a total monet.”


Agriculture is an industry that reaches every person, every day. You don’t exactly have to get a teenage translator in order to communicate with young people today, but we should keep lingo and media in mind. Farming is a “wickedly” cool occupation (that’s for you ’80s teens!), no matter which jargon we use to talk about it!


Elizabeth Maslyn is a Cornell University student pursuing a career in the dairy industry. Her passion for agriculture has driven her desire to learn more, and let the voices of our farmers be heard.

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