Pearl Snaps

Stories of a cowgirl living life by her own lights

Agvocacy: Who’s qualified to tell the story?


This is a question that I really never thought I’d hear being asked.  Who do you really think is qualified to tell agriculture’s story?  Is it the farmer or rancher?  The writer for an agriculture publication?  The extension agent from a land-grant university?  Or maybe the local butcher?  Whoever you think it is, I don’t think I could pinpoint down one specific person that I think should be the only one telling the story of agriculture to today’s consumers.

The fact of the matter is we should all be working together to inform consumers about the true facts of modern agricultural production.  It shouldn’t be just one group or another.  Though a farmer or rancher may be more qualified to speak about production and management practices on the farm, they are not the only ones capable of conveying there message to the public.

I am thankful for organizations like the AgChat Foundation and programs such as the Masters of Beef Advocacy and Common Ground which empower both farmers and ranchers and also members that work in the agricultural industry, such as extension agents, ag writers, college students, and everyday people who just love agriculture, to speak about their passion for the way of life that they care so much about and educate consumers in the process.

A great example of someone who’s a little out of the ordinary for an agvocate, is my friend Lauren Chase.  She didn’t grow up on a farm and really didn’t have a whole lot of knowledge about agriculture until a little over a year ago.  She lucked upon a summer internship with the Montana Stockgrowers’ Association while in college and her life hasn’t quite been the same since.  After spending the summer in Montana and learning about the rich ranching heritage there it ignited a fire in her to become an agvocate.  Stories like this inspire me because they let me see that there is still hope out there.  We can have an effect on those not involved in agriculture and make them understand how much it means to us.  I’m glad to have Lauren on board to help agvocate for agriculture!  The more voices the better!  So whether you’re a farm kid like me or just someone who loves agriculture, there’s a place for you here!

7 thoughts on “Agvocacy: Who’s qualified to tell the story?

  1. Here is another question to ponder, “Who is not qualified to tell the story?”

  2. Great question! The National Beef Ambassador Program and the National Beef Speakers Bureau are two amazing programs that exist to tell the beef story across the country! Our CattleWomen and youth voices are well educated, enthusiastic, professional and PASSIONATE! Knowledge is power! Check out the latest Beef Ambassador blog:

  3. Thank you so very much Jess! I just presented on this a week ago at a workshop. We need to spread the word that everyone has a story to tell! Way to make a statement here with your post! Thank you!

  4. Thanks for the message. I do think it takes all types of people, farmers and ranchers, industry, government supports — everyone. I live in the Washington, DC area, so I run across people all the time. I wear a “Like Food — thank a farmer” t-shirt when I run in races and it certainly starts conversations with people who NEVER get the opportunity to talk to a farmer or rancher, yet have questions about today’s modern agricultural practices. I can help answer some of the questions and put them in touch with others via blogs and such!

  5. As another agvocate who is a non-farmer, I have to say I appreciate this post greatly. Even folks who aren’t directly connected to ag anymore can share it’s story! I’ve found my passion for agricultural communications because of “agvocacy.” Now I know what I want to do with my life.

    Great post, keep ‘em coming!

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