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  • Writer's picture~Jacqueline

Agvocates - The role that individuals not from an agricultural background play in supporting ag

Updated: Oct 19, 2020

*Warning. If you continue reading you will be exposed to copious amounts of anecdotal evidence*

I suppose if you are reading this then the title must have gotten your attention!

Before I dive into this blog post I will make some quick clarifications...

Agvocate, is a term seen often on social media that refers to an agricultural advocate.

When I refer to individuals 'not from an agricultural background', I am referring to individuals who were not raised with, or currently have, a direct connection to farming or ranching operations. Lastly, anecdotal evidence simply means that the following claims are all based on my personal experience or testimony. Now read on, and enjoy!

I am currently a doctoral student studying agricultural education and communication at one of the top universities for my discipline. And you know what I've noticed? The majority of students in my program are not from an agricultural background, and many have not studied or worked in the industry. Interesting right?

I noticed a similar trend during my undergraduate and master's degrees. While some students studying agricultural education or agricultural communications were from farming or ranching families or had relatives that were producers, many were not.

What attracts us, non-agriculturalists, to become advocates for this industry?

And a follow-up question, what do farmers and ranchers think about having people not from their industry, being a voice for it?

I personally feel like this is a potentially positive trend and has positive implications for the industry. What kind of industry would attract so many new, young, passionate minds? A good one. A welcoming one. One that has endless possibilities and opportunities. But that's just my opinion.

If you are a farmer or rancher reading this, I would love to hear your thoughts! How do you feel about having individuals who are not from a production-agriculture background, advocating for your industry? Let me know in the comments below!

Photo credit: Patrick Hendry

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