I was recently at a conference where my husband and I were part of a “Meet a Farmer” campaign with the American Farm Bureau Ag Foundation. It’s part of a initiative to introduce consumers to farmers and vice versa. Start a conversation. Ask questions. Debunk myths. Hey, even grab a #felfie if the mood suits. I’ll never forget one of our first conversations at the conference. Her name was Mary, and she took one look at dressed up me while she announced loudly “You ain’t no farmer!”
I do admit – I clean up quite nice. And to be perfectly honest, I married into the agriculture world. It may have taken me longer than your average farmer to appreciate all that agriculture has to offer, but hey – I [finally] made it! Don’t let the spiffy outfits fool you most days. I can dig in the dirt, feed the cows, and check the chickens with the best of them. [Ok, more like a 7-year old farm kid – but hey! Learning curve!]
My husband and I farm with his family just North of Harrisonburg, Virginia. We raise beef cows, poultry, corn and hay. We have two mini-farmers that prefer to ride in tractors if given the chance, and who can tell you more about the ways of nature than some adults I know.
Now a decade into agriculture, I am fully appreciative of what that word means. No longer a foreign concept to me, agriculture is a living, breathing, essential part of my daily life. Both on the farm and off. I am a passionate agvocate (ag + advocate) for an industry that encompasses a wide variety of ideals and ideas, but at the end of the day is THE industry that feeds you. I work as the Farm to Table Coordinator for Virginia Cooperative Extension, and also am the behind-the-scenes gal on my blog, Paint The Town Ag. So across my life, I am blessed to speak into and for an industry that feeds the world.
VALOR, Virginia Agriculture Leaders Obtaining Results, represents for me the exhilarating opportunity to increase my personal and professional abilities in relation to agriculture. I look forward to meeting new faces, jumping in to new topics, and challenging discussions. Please consider following the second class of VALOR as we journey through these next two life-changing years. Fourteen fellows will be posting regularly on VALeadersOR.com, as well as tweeting with our personal accounts and @VALeadersOR.
Follow the conversations and the journey! This city-girl-turned-farmers-wife looks forward to seeing you around the web!
Facebook: Lauren Hartzler Arbogast