Receiving to AgLink award Friday evening was truly incredible! Thank you again for all those who supported me, and continue to cheer me on! It’s appreciated more than you will ever know.
Here is the video that was presented along with the award on Friday night. It turned out great thanks to some big efforts from a lot of folks! Enjoy!
Also for those of you who could not attend, here is my thank you speech…I know that it goes without saying for many people, but it truly takes a village to accomplish what we have in our industry, and the work isn’t over yet!
I started my blog nuttygrass.com 5 years ago. It was never meant to go far, it was truly meant to share good farming stories that I told all my friends. Mostly funny things like what I broke around the farm that day, or about how I regularly dunk my head in hydraulic oil, because if you don’t know me, I’m a huge klutz!
But those stories have transformed into a glimpse into my life as a farmer, one story at a time, and that’s vitally important for our industry in an environment where people don’t understand what we do or why we do it.
My stories put a face on farming and provide an opportunity for consumers to feel like they know me and can ask the hard questions. The stories on my blog have evolved into conversations and moments of true honesty with urban neighbors about the very real demands of being a farmer and how we are at times unsuccessful. It presents an honest dialogue where people get to hear that sometimes we spray pesticides, and here’s why.
It’s transparency at a level that I believe in many ways is demanded by anyone who happens to have a computer, a laptop or smartphone because that transparency leads to trust. It is our responsibility to educate the consumer, because no one else will do it for us – no one else can tell our story but us. If we don’t tell our story, those who try to do it for us, they’ll get it wrong.
We are under a microscope in many ways and usually the burden of proof is on us. Not just to tell them why, but to beat them to the punch and get our voice out there. While we all sit here tonight supporting a cause such as adopt a farmer, I know I’m preaching to most of the choir here. But I also believe that our ability and willingness to engage is always changing.
They are hungry for our stories, and we as farmers, as only 2% of the population, should answer back. Which may mean something as small as sharing a blog post on Facebook, or something more challenging like having a real conversation at the grocery store about the safe food that we grow, or speaking up to your representative about policy issues that impact our way of life. Join a commission, participate in your industry!
However you do it, have your voice heard.
Truly thank you to everyone in this room for your involvement in promoting our industry, including tonight’s other honoree Sharon Livingston.
Thank you to my husband Matt, my parents, my whole family, my great friends, all who have supported me and will continue to work as a team with me to connect agriculture across the rural and urban divide, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, for this recognition!