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It’s time to put on the advocacy hat

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If we don’t tell our own stories, someone else with an ugly agenda will happily fill in the gaps for us.

After a year of being off the road, it’s been a pleasure to finally be able to meet with agricultural groups across the country again.

Last week was a bit of a whirlwind as I spoke at two Women in Agriculture Events — one in Iowa and another in Oklahoma.

During my road trip, I met so many incredible women who are passionate, strong, empowered, and ready to speak out and share their stories. They see the challenges ahead, and they know, now is the time to stand firm in the truth and unapologetically share what their farms and ranches do to provide food for the world.

I came home from the event with recharged batteries, and a renewed spirit that none of us have to fight this battle alone. If we all carry a bit of the burden, we will be unstoppable!

Today, I wanted to share a few take-always from last week that I pondered on my drive home from these speaking engagements.

As agriculturalists, we wear a lot of hats and handle a lot to keep the wheels turning on the family farm and ranch.

In the hustle and bustle of the day-to-day grind, we may feel like we are already doing so much. But I think there is one more hat we need to wear — the advocacy hat. We must be willing to step outside our comfort zones to share our stories.

  • Because farmers and ranchers have an incredible story to share.
  • We’ve got a powerful truth to build our case.
  • We’ve got big hearts just waiting to connect with our urban customers, who absolutely want to support us once they know the truth.
  • And together, we are realizing that if we don’t tell our own stories, someone else with an ugly agenda will happily fill in the gaps for us.

So wear the advocate! And wear it proudly! Let's find ways to connect over shared values!

Because at the end of the day, we aren’t just farmers and ranchers. We are consumers, too! And we all want the same things — access to safe, affordable, nutritious, and delicious food that meets are family’s needs.

Food security is national security, and for a country that has always taken for granted that we’ll always have an abundance of food, the past 18 months has shown us that shortages on our favorite products and basic essentials can occur.

Remember that a nation that can feed itself will always remain free, and any attack on food sovereignty is an attack on liberty itself.

Now is the time to not only face the vulnerabilities and challenges that agriculture faces in feeding a hungry planet, but it’s also time to welcome the general public with open arms to join us in the fight.

So put on the advocacy hat, and let’s get to work together! It’s a cause worth fighting for, and I invite farmers and ranchers to join me in the conversation!

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.

TAGS: Farm Life
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