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The Faces of Farming

January 22, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATrying to capture the faces of agriculture is like trying to capture what the typical consumer is like. We’re all different! We look different, we do things a little differently sometimes, we use different management styles and in the end offer you, the consumer, a choice of food. Even the farm growing up is different than what we do now!

Here in the blog, a recurring theme is food choices. It’s something we’re passionate about, and we believe in what we’re doing as a means of providing food choices to all. Last year I applied for the Faces in Agriculture, hosted by the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance, a group of grass roots ‘agvocates’ eager to answer questions and be a place folks can go to get questions answered by real farmers. We didn’t make the finals, but some familiar faces did. There were 100 applicants, which should be encouraging! It’s 100 (and much more!) people that you can turn to when you have questions about a media story, or about something you heard or something you saw.

When we post on social media, do blog posts, speak at functions it’s not a matter of getting paid. Personally, it’s a chance to reach out and show what we do. It shows not only agriculture but highlights small farms,food choices and rare breeds.

This morning the final four were announced, and we’re so pleased to see two familiar names in the mix. Chris Chinn raises hogs, and although her operation is vastly different from ours, we’re both equally passionate about putting forth the best, safest meats we can! A “neighbor” from the next county, Will Gilmer, was also selected – another family farm operation! Gilmer Dairy Farm has broken new trails for sharing their story and is an inspiration for many. (We even attempted a Christmas song parody!) Katie Pratt, who farms near my hometown in Illinois, is the third selection, and Bo Stone, a diversified North Carolina farmer, round out the selections. When I got involved with the AgChat Foundation (am a director there), it was to further bring what we do to people who want to know what we do.

Congratulations to those selected for these very public positions. They tell the stories of their farms, just like we do, but also of agriculture in general and how it reaches out to those who benefit from it. That’s pretty much everyone!

Still, it’s a mistake to think we’re all exactly the same. We have different views, goals and aspirations – and what is “best” may be only what is best for us. That, dear reader, allows food choices for you! We’re grateful.

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