Tell Your Story, Share Your Passion
I have always had a passion for educating women about farm markets, mostly because so many women feel like the lone corn stalk in a field of soybeans when talking about the markets in a largely male-dominated field.
Well, this column is a departure from my usual marketing topics, because recently I have come to feel like that lone corn stalk again. Every once in a while you have to step back and look at the big picture of the business we are in. And I am learning the importance of becoming an advocate for this amazing business of agriculture.
Being an advocate for agriculture is nothing new, and I encourage you to continue to spread the word regarding what agriculture means to you and why you choose the lifestyle you choose, and tell others the depth and breadth of your conviction. This is first and foremost on my heart because I have recently moved to a part of the country where agriculture is appreciated; however, the conviction and the basics of agricultural education is starkly lacking. My child rides the bus and explains to other kids about the food in their lunch box and where it comes from. The field trip to the local grocery store talks about how to make healthy food choices, but does not teach where all this food comes from. And so my eyes were opened, and I realized I had a story to share.
Being involved in agriculture is an amazing blessing. Being a woman in agriculture is even more of a blessing. Over the years I have formed tremendous bonds with women who farm, ranch or live in rural settings whose love of agriculture is on display in everything they do and say. These women have faced adversity, enjoyed success, raised families and have done it with grace.
When you sit and listen to their words, their passion, their causes, you can’t help but want to soak up their words and feel what they feel. Despite the joys or discomforts that they may go through, one thing is clear--their passion for agriculture.
Today less than 1% of our population works in agriculture and less than 2% of the population lives on farms. Interest in how food is raised is increasing daily even though less than 10% of a U.S. family’s income is spent on food. There are many opportunities to tell your agriculture story. Many farmers have already sensed the need to reconnect with consumers and are actively telling their story and emphasizing the importance of environmental stewardship, food safety and good animal care practices.