When I Grow Up…I want to stick up for Agriculture!

It was the subject of at least one essay every year of grade school: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Like any child, each year I had a different answer.  One year it was hog farmer the next it was country singer and still the next it was author.  Though my career goals changed, I always knew that I would spend my life sharing what I loved with the world.

What did I love?  Three simple things: agriculture, writing, and living in the country.

Honoring my parents at the 2008 KY State FFA Convention.

Honoring my parents at the 2008 KY State FFA Convention before I retired from state office.

Though it took years of gradeshool essays, I have finally realized that the best way to share all three of these things in my chosen career is probably not at the Grand Ole Opry but as an agriculture journalist.

This is not the first time I’ve blogged about my career goals.  In this post, however, I’m going to give credit where credit is due. 

Take a look at my “About me” page and you’ll see that I’ve been dedicated to animal agriculture my whole life.  This was only possible because I was blessed with the parents who never let me say never. (Literally, my mom didn’t allow us to say the word can’t when we were growing up!) 
My parents understood the importance of 4-H, FFA, and youth livestock programs and allowed me to miss so much school to learn things that couldn’t be taught in a classroom. 
My closest friends at the 2009 Block & Bridle banquet.

My "fan club" at the 2009 Block & Bridle banquet.

When I got to college, my Block and Bridle friends became my #1 cheerleaders!

It was no suprise that they were behind me when I began building my website. 

They were my first “blog fans” and the ones who celebrated with me when my story was featured on Ag Wired.  Most importantly, they helped me find my niche in the ag journalism world: expanding agriculture news online. 

I know, you think I sound like a twitter-happy, cookie cutter journalism student. 

Unlike mainstream news coverage, however, agriculture news has a lot of catching up to do in the online department.

In my mind, agriculture literacy is the biggest issue facing the industry today.  How can we ever expect the average consumer to understand modern farming practices if we don’t put the information out there?

Furthermore, its not enough to put agriculture news online, we have to connect it with the general public.  Sponsor some Google links, add an RSS feed, open a Twitter account – whatever it takes!   What’s the worst that could happen?

Its time for conventional agriculture to stick up for itself, I just hope I can be there to help.

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