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Naked and Hungry.

Naked and hungry.

That is where we would be if there was no agriculture and why it is important to promote the agriculture industry.

I’m frequently surprised at school or other places I go that kids do not know where their food comes from! They think, “I’m hungry” and want McDonalds or want their parents to go to the grocery store. They don’t know how much work goes into growing food. They never consider that our food has a story. Since I have grown up on a farm, I know that the story of our food starts with farmers.

The story starts with up at dawn hard work, blistering heat and dust during the summer, then snow, ice and freezing cold in the winter. It starts with a ‘jack of all trades’ like my dad who knows his way around machines and watches the weather and soil conditions like a professional, but can also pull a calf and rescue baby birds. Rugged but independent, strong and wrinkled but still able to lift up his voice in church, my Dad is kind, quiet and gentle. His days are filled with the hardest jobs and he takes so much care in doing them. At the end of the day for him, long after I’m sound asleep in a home warmed by wood he chopped by hand, he ends the day the same way he started by reading the Bible.

He feeds us by his hands. Not many people can say that any more. Likewise, agriculture is responsible for things like the clothes we wear, shoes and tons of other stuff you wouldn’t consider like Band-Aids, tennis racquet strings, dice, tires, crayons and burn ointments. My oldest brother Malachi is diabetic and has to take insulin. It’s a life and death situation for him and wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for livestock. Thank goodness for agriculture!

Because of all of this, agriculture is a worthy cause to promote. Promoting agriculture is very important to me, not just because we live and work on a family farm but also because it’s important people know where their food comes from and what it takes to raise it.

Being a Miss Agriculture USA queen helps me promote agriculture. You wouldn’t go to work on the farm without the proper tools for the job, would you? That is what the crown and sash is for me! They are tools to talk about agriculture. People are drawn to the crown and sash. They may ask, “Hey, how’d you get that?” or say “Congratulations” and that is a starting place for a conversation. I can tell them about living on a farm, why I love raising grass fed beef and that it’s important to know where your food comes from.

Since being part of this program I’ve already given a bunch of speeches about agriculture. I went to the local elementary school and read books about agriculture to 1st and 2nd graders. I have been a guest, in crown and sash at the library for preschool story time. The little kids thought I was a farmer-princess! I also got invited to speak to inner city girls’ group about perseverance in agriculture. And I do a lot of YouTube videos where I talk about animals, the land, tools we use and other fun stuff.

The crown and sash help me tell our story as farmers; the amazing experiences I’ve had and the really tough stuff we’ve been through too. I feel like when people can see me, just a kid, working on a farm and know I’m raising animals for food they will understand that agriculture is an awesome industry.

I wouldn’t want to live in a world without agriculture or farmers like my dad.

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