Charlie and Casey Ellington from Stark County are the editors of the October 2022 Growing our Generation enewsletter, featuring insights and ideas directly from Ohio’s young farmers and food and agricultural professionals.Read More
Jaclyn De Candio of Clark County is the editor of the July 2022 Growing our Generation enewsletter, featuring insights and ideas directly from Ohio’s young farmers and food and agricultural professionals. She is a member of the Ohio Farm Bureau Young Agricultural Professionals State Committee.
My connection to agriculture
Growing up I was always very involved with my county’s 4-H program where I was exposed to a lot of Farm Bureau programs and offerings. I knew as I grew I wanted to stay involved with my local agriculture community and continue to give back.
After studying animal science and agriculture communications, my career journey took me on an unexpected path to building my own business where I could combine my loves of writing and creative thinking with agriculture. Now I am a full-time writer, content creator, communications and media specialist focused exclusively on agriculture and its parallel industries. I have worked with companies all over the world and am exposed to so many exciting things happening in all facets of the industry.
While I am not actively farming at the moment (my husband and I hope to do so in the near future!), I love that I am still able to be involved with ag community and use my unique skill set to benefit both farmers and consumers.
In my free time I make goat milk soap and collect/paint model horses. They’re small creative outlets but extremely satisfying.
My membership with the state and local Farm Bureau is important because it keeps me grounded to issues that are happening within my region. Knowing that we have a strong voice and advocacy power is something that I take great pride in.
I serve on the state YAP committee and am a member of Clark County Farm Bureau, and I am also a member of the Agriculture Communicators Network. Additionally, I’ve been a 4-H judge for the Holmes County Dairy Goat Show and past Franklin County 4-H advisor.
My husband and I are both active members of our church, Holy Family in Dayton.
Being on the state committee has really challenged me to use my time, interests and abilities for the benefit of my community while working alongside my peers. I feel that after this experience I will be able to channel my abilities into even larger applications be it on local, regional or even national levels.
As I grow my business and accumulate more help, I know that leadership will continue to be a theme in my work life as well. Lately I’ve been trying to become more well-read (and listened in the case of podcasts) on leadership skills and qualities.
Right now the economy has put my business, The Herdbook Ag Media, into a bit of a slump despite pushing for more growth. It has been very hard for me to expand my client base and I have lost a few contracts as well. I would say that, with the costs of production increasing, it is harder for agribusinesses of all sizes to continue investing in areas of communication and marketing. This is unfortunate because these are essential tools for growth and proliferation.
My latest major business purchase was a full-scale website update. I had created my original one myself and while it served its purpose, it lacked the professional polishing and a few additional tools to make things more user friendly for potential clients. I also started the year off with a new iMac, and I’ve also been investing more in social media management and business management software.
Are you seeing any trends in ag or business that others should know about?
I feel that I’m finally seeing the scope of what people consider “agriculture” diversifying and growing. On a near daily basis I see some incredible new technologies, start ups and ideas all across the ag communities. We are also seeing more individuals enter the field, thanks no doubt to more diverse career offers, who might have had very limited farm exposure growing up.
With this, I think that current agribusinesses and farms will be challenged with facing the changes that are coming. In the end, we will all be using new tools and working alongside new faces to accomplish our goals. This is full of opportunity, but it will require work and some investment to stay current.
What inspires you when life gets hard?
I always remember that growing in grace and virtue are, ultimately, the most important goals that I have in life – they’re all I can take with me when its over. The best part is that achieving those goals is simple – fulfill my duties in life by loving and serving my incredible family even in the most mundane, day-to-day tasks. Finding the beauty in that simplicity really helps me keep things in perspective when I have a rough time with work or other external life conflicts.
I had a few very influential 4-H advisors and volunteers from my youth in Medina County. Even throughout college, I came across some great coworkers, bosses and friends who were seasoned in their various agriculture careers who played a great role in nurturing my interests and challenging me to develop my skills.
I can honestly say that if it weren’t for my mentors and their guidance I likely wouldn’t have found my passion for agriculture. I believe these relationships are so important for young people as they grow and experience the world.
Recently I have taken a couple of business coaching classes from individuals whom I admire greatly. If you’ve considered getting some outside advice and insight on how to better run your business I highly recommend going for it.
While I am still fairly early in my career, I’ve had a chance to speak for some college classes and share my journey to building my business. I hope I will continue to have opportunities like that to continually pay it forward to the next generation.
I encounter a lot of great ag sites, publications and other resources in my line of work. Lately, one of my favorites has to be Magnetic Ag, a newsletter that provides quick headlines for happenings going on in global agriculture. It’s a fast read but is also done in a style that is interesting and a bit quirky.
The Advanced Freelancing Podcast has been one of my favorite listens of late.
Share a favorite recipe
This has saved many a loaf of stale bread. It’s a classic staple that I believe belongs in every country kitchen.
I'm eternally grateful for the support Ohio Farm Bureau scholarships provided in helping me turn my dreams into reality.Available scholarships
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.Leadership development
With not growing up on a farm, I’d say I was a late bloomer to agriculture. I feel so fortunate that I found the agriculture industry. There are so many opportunities for growth.Growing our Generation
Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.Business Solutions
Farm Bureau involvement has taught me how to grow my professional and leadership experience outside of the workforce and how to do that in a community-centric way.Young Ag Professionals program
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
Jonanthan and Alyssa Zucker farm in Marion and Wyandot counties. They are in their last term on the State Young Agricultural Professionals Committee and serve as co-chairs.Read More