Why be Involved in your Industry?

I’ve recently become an agvocate, or maybe I’ve always been one I just didn’t have the word to describe my passion for ag.  I’ve talked a lot about farming my whole life, especially down in LA where farmers are more scarce.  But more recently I’ve realized that maybe I wasn’t doing all that I could.  I was involved in groups that promoted a positive ag message, but when I heard it and never passed it on, that’s where the message died.  Early this year I attended a conference for Young Farmers and Ranchers and one of the speakers said, “If you’re not at the table, then you’re on the table.”  And those words spoke volumes to me.  Clearly I wasn’t doing my part, so when I got home I started to pay more attention to issues going on in my own industry.  I saw first hand that for many issues, I was not at the table and my story was being told for me by other people.  In some cases I didn’t even know the table ever existed to be honest.  So in the past 7 months I’ve been keeping my eyes and ears open and truly trying to be at the table and show up.  So far this has truly changed my outlook tremendously.

Oklahoma Leadership Conference

Sure it would be easier to just stick to farming.  To be present on my operation, not wanting to get out there and tell the public what I’m up to.  Unfortunately it’s too late for us to hide; because of social media farmers and ranchers have moved from the field, onto computer monitors all over the world.  People want to feel good about what they eat, and because of technology they can just about set foot int the fields and decide what is right or what is wrong.  So that’s why we have to be there, guiding them, letting them see the whole picture.

Oregon YF&R Ladies on a Michigan Farm Tour

I enjoy writing and politics have always fascinated me, so finding a way to be involved via this blog and through Farm Bureau was easy for me.  I understand that maybe these outlets aren’t for everyone, but I think it’s still important to be out there and be a source for those that don’t have their minds made up.  One example of this on a large scale would be the Dept of Labor new farm labor laws that were thrown out because of all the comments they received.  Using social media to pass the word, allowed for us to have a voice in what was going to happen in our own industry, in our own counties, right down to our own fields.  And all of that could never have been done without agvocates, showing up and making sure they were at the table and not to be ignored.

I don’t know if this is all making a huge change, but I think what makes it worth it, is seeing all the other agvocates out there making sure that we’re here, being heard and at the table.

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