Agriculture has always been a large part of my life. I was raised around animals, farmers, crops and people who love the industry as much as I do. Agriculture paved my way through high school as a FFA member speaking around the state of Ohio. That then transformed into my major at college, agricultural communication. Now….my job? Working in agriculture and with agriculturalists every single day.
Sometimes, I find it difficult to understand that not everyone understands the ins and outs of my favorite industry like I do. Since Farm Bureau has been asking us to define our why, I have been asking a lot of why’s. Why do people not understand that local food will be more expensive? Why does one bad media representation of animal agriculture uproot tons of animal activists that really don’t know what is going on? Why do people not realize that without agriculture there would be a large increase in unemployment and along those lines taxes, as well as the most important (and in my opinion the most obvious) NO FOOD?
When I sit back and think about this, I have slowly become to realize that the reasons I have these questions, among many others, is MY fault. Now it isn’t completely my fault no. However, if people like me, who love agriculture and what it stands for actually took more of an initiative to educate our public we wouldn’t be here asking ourselves these questions.
Agriculture is a very interesting industry to try to peel apart. We are the number one industry in the state and the country. We do not rely on media for many sectors of the industry. We rely solely upon the passion of our “people.” How many industries do you know that can survive, and thrive, that way? I can’t think of any other industry.
Now that I have the honor of working as an organization director for 5 county farm bureaus, I am slowly realizing more and more about the people in it. Many are your typical agriculturalists. However, many are not. This says to me that as an industry and as an organization we are supporting the whole of the public, not just the people directly involved. Grassroots…..what does that mean to you? Because to me it means giving people power, giving people say, giving people life.
Agriculture is something I was raised with. But that isn’t a privilege most have in today’s world. So how are we going to bring it back to basics and let others know what we are all about?