Ma Long, 31, the Party secretary of the Second Company of the Communist Youth League Farm of the Bingtuan’s Sixth Division.

When people at our farm talk about “the postgraduate”, nine out of 10 times they are referring to me as I’m the only one here.

I came to the farm in 2011 after graduating from Tarim University with the hope of bringing real benefits to the farmers with what I learned on campus. However, the farmers threw a wet blanket over my enthusiasm and treated me like a city boy with no cultivation experience.

Though I was frustrated, I went to check the crops every day, making records of their growth and establishing an electronic file of more than 200,000 mu (13,333 hectares) of farmland in a bid to help the farmers tackle their problems.

My wife asked me why I couldn’t spend more quality time with the family at weekends, just like every other family. I pondered this for a long time and had no answer as my efforts were not appreciated by the farmers.

During the first irrigation of the cotton in early June 2012, which is important to guarantee a harvest for the farmers, the irrigation facilities broke down. The farmers became anxious and came to me for help.

We spent four days fixing the water pump and clearing the ditch and the water arrived on the farmland as scheduled. Later that night, after the irrigation, the farmers came to my home with their homemade beef jerky. I was chuffed to bits to sweep their worries away.

I know how difficult it is to make money when you’re solely reliant on farming. I helped take out loans with banks and instructed the farmers on how to start their own businesses.

Now, whatever problems the farmers come across, they think of me first. It’s busy and tiring, but I’m happy that they trust me with everything.

I’ll never regret my choice of working for the Bingtuan. I would make the same decision in my next life.