A few weeks ago, I asked the question, “Why are you proud to be a part of Agriculture?” In case you missed it, you can catch up by reading “Proud to be a Rancher” where I share the reasons I am proud to be a part of such a great way of life. Since that post, I have received several responses that give different insight to why people are proud to be a part of Ag. Whether it is ranchers’ resilience in tough times, our sense of community, the appreciation for the things around us, or our passion for improving upon our best, we make a difference in this world. I feel like sharing some of the stories and I will just let these agriculturalists speak for themselves.
Bobby Holub from Texas says he never really thought of why he is proud to be a part of Agriculture because he grew up in it and it was just a part of life. This is true for many people raised on an Ag operation. Bobby said he did not have a true love for the cattle business until he started showing. “No longer was it just work or something that had to be done it was like my cattle then were part of the family!” Bobby loves that as a cattleman he is always looking for ways to improve upon his best and would not trade the life for anything. Find Bobby on Twitter.
Jim Fisher from Houston puts it this way. “I have never ranched for the money; it pays more grit than dollars. It is more for the feeling of the rain after a yearlong drought, standing in the mud where the pasture was, laughing so loud and hard they could hear me in town. More for the pride of saving a newborn calf’s life than even the Vet said would not suckle. More for the huge knot that ties in my stomach when walking up to the seller’s window at the auction barn. The knowing that the barbed wire scars will fade, but my cattle blood line could live forever.” Find Jim on Facebook.
Amanda Solloman from Michigan says that there are many reasons she is proud to be a part of Ag. First, it is being part of an industry that is “based on people--helping people, feeding people, meeting people.” Amanda is “proud to say that I play a part in feeding my community, my country, and the world.” While she may not like getting up for work EVERY day, Amanda says “being a part of something so great definitely gives me incentive to work hard and continue to make a difference. So many people get up in the morning and go to jobs that they absolutely hate.” Find Amanda on her Blog or on Twitter.
Andrea Leininger from Wyoming emphasizes the responsibility that goes into running a cow-calf operation because everyone has to take part to get the chores finished. “Ranching gives us a great work-ethic, teaches us the importance of responsibility, and we learn how to work efficiently by ourselves or with other people.”
Kelly M. Rivard from Illinois is not your average producer. Despite attending a university where there is no Ag program, Kelly has found a way to be involved in sharing the story of Agriculture through her Midwestern Gold blog. “I'm hard-pressed to think of another industry where people love their jobs, their work environment, or their responsibilities as much as farmers. There are plenty of pitfalls to the job. Risk, paperwork, seasonally unreliable working conditions, yet the farmers and ranchers I know still love their job. The word "neighbor" is taken seriously among Ag folks!”
Diana Como is young teen that is tackling the Ag world with a passion. Through Twitter, Facebook, and Blogs, this girl is working hard to share the Ag story to those around her. She is proud to do this because to her “it is teaching kids & adults old & young where their food comes from and why it is important to talk to your local farmers and learn.”
Anna-Lisa Giannini is at Oklahoma State University and her passion for sharing the BEEF story has roots all the way home to California. “I am proud to be a part of an industry that stands for integrity, honesty and hard work! There is nothing more satisfying than knowing that day in and day out you have done your best and worked hard for everything you have.” She is doing her part to share the good news of BEEF with consumers through her website, BeefonaBudget.com.
Melissa Laurent from Texas says this quote from T.L. Roach Jr., former President of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, sums it up for her. “Who among us would choose other work if given the chance, a minority at most. We are privileged to work in the open air and in partnership with Mother Nature at her best, and at her worst. We are in daily contact with a vast majority of sights that most Americans must wait for their vacation to sample even minutely. We are part of a fundamental endeavor, the production of food for our fellow man, one of man's highest callings.” Find Melissa on Twitter.
Bob Kinford from Van Horn, Texas shows his appreciation for the many skills of the ranch cowboy. “How many [people] can pull a calf, perform a C section on a cow, take care of a prolapsed cow and fix a leaky waterline with a piece of inner tube, pop bottle and baling wire? Cowboy, if it weren't for us, beef wouldn't be for dinner!” (http://www.bobkinford.com/)
Denise Jenson Rich from California may not be a direct part of production agriculture, but as she explains it, her part is “more culture than agri.” As an artist, she is able to share the story of farmers and ranchers through art. She describes these people as having “a great love and appreciation for their animals and their work.” (http://deniserichart.com/)
Janice Person from Memphis was not born and raised in an Agriculture setting. She is a self-proclaimed city gal, but she did not let this stop her from using her talents and love for travel to stop her from having a place in sharing the Ag story. In the PR business, she has the opportunity to share many stories that farmers and ranchers tell and share them with consumers. Early in her career Janice realized she “become a part of that community of such integrity and caring, and that gave [her] a sense of pride as well as humility.” She describes the opportunity with this. “Over time, the reality that I was a tiny piece of the effort that provides the food for our families, communities and the world. That is something that still leaves me in awe. Granted I don't grow the food or fiber, but I think the ability to share the stories of the farmers who do and the scientists who develop the next wave of high producing products is a gift – not the sort of talent-based gift people talk about, but a unique experience that was opened for me.” Find Janice on Twitter and her Blog.
Everyone has a story to tell. Ranchers and Farmers have a great one. Whether it is our hard work, resilience, sense of community, or passion to keep improving upon our skills, someone is listening.