My family raised me to tell my story, to be proactive on agricultural issues and to stand up for the way my family farms. I have always been outspoken and not afraid of causing a stir or controversy. Anymore, I consider myself to be an “Agtivist” and I am not ashamed of it.
Great-grandma Charity & me!
Our century-old farm surrounds Eugene, OR, an area known for environmentalist activist breeding. Extremists there have been attacking conventional agriculture for 40 plus years in our area. This is the reason my great-grandma helped to found Oregon Women for Agriculture in 1969. It’s the reason I was going to legislative hearings in the 2nd grade with my dad.
And it is the reason I went undercover to a radical environmentalist meeting and testified at hearings at age 22.
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Just Farmers is excited to bring you a new series called “Some things you may not know about…”. The subjects of the series can be farms, agricultural businesses, restaurants and any other entity related to agriculture. Our current “My Agvocacy Story” and Communication Thoughts series will continue along with the new “Some things you may not know about” series.
We are looking for information that might not be widely known about food and farm related topics. For example on my own family’s traditional farm we have not purchased commercial fertilizer in several years because the cows make fertilizer for us with their manure. At the same time we are also diligently sampling our soil annually to prevent nitrogen buildup. Sometimes we can take these little nuggets brighten them up and use them as conversation builders.
Another nugget of info about our farm is that even though we use antibiotics many times we have no cows being treated and if treated the milk from those cows is diverted from the food supply and either thrown out or fed to calves. Normally we average less than 5% of our cows get treated annually.
Personally I love finding out those little known facts about landmarks and history so we here at Just Farmers are bringing an inside view of lesser known facts to you our readers.
If you have an idea for a “Something you may not know about…” post please drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below.
Three years ago during a brainstorming session between Ray Prock, Darin Grimm and I we came up with a word to describe agricultural advocates that has grown to become a common word used within the agricultural community. The terms “agvocacy” and “agvocate” combined with other efforts in the agricultural community became the basis why the three of us worked with other leaders in the agricultural social media community to build the AgChat Foundation in an effort to encourage other agvocates to embrace the tools of social media and proactively share information about their knowledge of agriculture.
The goal of getting more agricultural individuals to speak up has for the most part been a success. Several recent events involving agriculture have proved that when a story involving farming or ranching occurs there are literally thousands of farmers, ranchers, and agricultural professionals that are willing and able to speak their mind and share their viewpoints about the situation. As stated on the AgChat Foundation’s website agvocacy is:
Agvocacy is a combination of agriculture and advocacy. The inherent active nature of the word has led many farmers and others in ag to make it a favorite for many in the #AgChat community and spread it to other channels and personal conversations. Agvocacy is not about targeting any selected group, such as media or elected officials – it’s representative of ag proactively telling our story.
When agvocating, it’s important to be proactive and listen to others concerns. It involves connecting with those outside of agriculture that are curious about today’s farmers and ranchers. Finding common ground on things and building from there provides opportunities to grow the conversation. It is through relationship development and discussion that understanding moves the image of agriculture forward. That said, agvocating is one way to get information about agriculture to the people who are interested. » Read more..