Cyndi's Two Cents

Celebrating agriculture

Did National Agriculture Week come and go so quickly that you just didn’t have time to join in the celebration? It’s never too late to celebrate! I just happen to have a few ideas of things you can do any time of the year.

*Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper:

Not everyone is a wordsmith, and that is ok. Sit down with pen and paper (or computer and keypad) and write “from the heart.” Choose a topic that you are comfortable talking about and start writing. How did you get started farming? How has farming changed? What practices have you implemented on your farm to save soil? Take this opportunity to address some of the misconceptions about agriculture – from how your treat your livestock to use of herbicides and pesticides.

*Speak to a local civic club.

Most local Kiwanis, Rotary, or other organizations seek out speakers for their meetings. You don’t have to be a great public speaker or have a quick wit. Just talk to them about the importance of agriculture to the economy of your community or tell them about some of the environmentally-friendly practices you have implemented on your farm, or about how you care for your livestock. If you aren’t comfortable standing up and talking about agriculture, join an organization that is not ag-specific and simply have conversations about farming with other members.

*Contact your local radio station:

Most local radio stations do a good job of reaching out to the local community to be sure that local events are being covered. Many of those stations will run features or public service announcements talking about the importance of agriculture during National Ag Week. Contact the news director or program director at your local radio station and let them know you’d be happy to serve as a resource for them when they need farmer’s perspective on an issue.

*Invite a non-farming neighbor to visit your farming operation:

It is amazing how many people who live in rural communities have little understanding of what those of us involved in raising crops and livestock do on our farms. Take one hour of your week and give a tour of your farm.

Take advantage of any and every opportunity to be the face for agriculture. Not every one of us is a public speaker or feels comfortable taking a leadership role in a county or state commodity organization, but each of us has a role in protecting and promoting the industry.

*Contact your representatives to the state’s general assembly:

A quick check on the website (Google it if you do not currently have the link) will give you access to contact information, bills on the docket, and a breakdown of who sits on what committee. If you have no pressing concerns for your representative simply let them know you are listening, watching and want your interests to be represented. If he or she is doing a good job in that regard, let them know. If they are not, let them know that, too.

*The final and most important thing is simple: Just do it right on your farm every day

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