When we started the AgriPOWER program, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I have always thought that I have known a lot about agriculture and what our industry needs to succeed. Overall, what I quickly realized is there is so much more going on that many of us in the industry may know, but maybe we don’t truly understand the magnitude of.
This experience has given me the opportunity to learn so much more about different types of agriculture and what those producers need and the challenges that they face. All in all, we all have common goals of feeding a growing world. No matter if you’re an organic producer, all natural, or just straight commercial, we all want to be able to make a profit doing what we know and love. I’m sure many of us realize this but actually sitting down and the taking time to talk with others who aren’t in the same scope of agriculture that we personally are is out of our comfort zone and not something that we normally do.
I believe it is important to agriculture as a whole that we work as a united front to tell our story. The things that this industry does locally, within the state, nationally, and all over the world is absolutely amazing, but unfortunately most of the general population is so far removed that they just don’t understand what we do as an industry. If there is anything that this program has taught me, it is that we must advocate for ourselves and each other. I have caught myself often being mad at misleading information that is reported about different scopes of agriculture that our farm participates in. I am quick to discuss this information with other producers similar to myself, but I never take the time to sit down and respond to those making the claims with the scientific proof that we as an industry have used to make the decision to use some of these scrutinized technologies.
In all, I realize that not telling my story, our story, is a disservice to agriculture. While there were many things learned and many reasons the AgriPOWER program was worth the investment, the main take away from me is there is a need for leaders in agriculture and we all need to take the time and do our part to be the best advocates we can for, what I believe (and trust me I’m not biased at all), the best and most necessary industry in all the world!