Tag Archives: farm bureau

Why should farmers and ranchers advocate for agriculture? (Video)


I think it goes without question if you’ve followed my material for very long, that I am passionate about advocating for the voice of farmers and encouraging others involved in agriculture to join the conversations. While speaking at various agriculture meetings or organization events, I sometimes get blank stares from those farmer and rancher types not already involved in agriculture advocacy. I get the normal “Why should I care to worry about what those folks think of me?” or “Social media is a young person’s game.

Why should we care to advocate for agriculture and the rural way of life?

I know this video is a promotion for Colorado Farm Bureau, but the folks with the Young Farmers and Ranchers group have a pretty good statement to make.

“Agriculture, politics, and the future of rural America is not your grandpa’s game. It is your’s and your voice needs to be at the table… If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu. So Your voice is one of the important ones that people need to hear.”

Farmers and Ranchers need to be involved in advocating for their way of life. Young or Old. New or Veteran. I’m willing to bet most people involved in agriculture are passionate about what they do and want to see that way of life continue for the next generation.

Young Farmers and Ranchers Agriculture Advocacy

If we’re not involved in the conversations (that have been and are already occurring), someone will tell a story and it will not always be an accurate one. When that inaccurate story is told, the misperceptions will continue to grow.

“One misinformed person can tell 10 uninformed people and so the misperception goes on.”

Your advocacy doesn’t have to be online or in social media. You don’t have to write a blog or spend all day commenting on inaccurate news stories or Reddit posts. Just make an effort to get to know your neighbors. They are the ones with questions and will likely be your biggest ally if they can trust you before that subject becomes and issue.

It’s likely to be a less hostile venture than you may fear. Just get out there and do it.

(Ok, I’m done preaching to the choir, my regular followers. Share this post with someone who you might encourage to take a step out of their comfort zone and be a voice for their passions.)

Social Agriculture: Social Media’s Role in Agriculture [Video]


Video of our panel at the 2013 American Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting in Nashville, TN.

Mike Jernigan, TN Farm Bureau

Agriculture in the Classroom


Want to teach your students (youth or adults) more about Agriculture and sources of food, fiber, fuel, and numerous daily products? I have the program just for you.

Our  society as a whole is moving toward a more urban lifestyle, and in turn farther away from agriculture production. Most U.S. citizens are 3 and 4 generations removed from the farm, and our education systems are plagued with many misconceptions about agriculture and food production.

Since 1981 the USDA has organized efforts to incorporate agriculture material into classroom curriculum. Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) programs are specific to each state and give educators the resources to expose their students to the world of food production. In Tennessee, Farm Bureau organizes the program and distributes the material. Five major program areas make up Tennessee AITC: Workshops/Teacher Training, Educational Material, Agriculture Ambassadors, Outdoor Classroom Garden Grants, Farm Day Tours.

AITC material is design to supplement and enhance teaching materials. A response heard from many teachers is “I would love to include agriculture education in my classroom, but I don’t have time to fit it in my schedule.” Actually, AITC is designed to include state mandated objectives for many grade levels. Skills like analyzing, comprehending, researching, evaluating, and interpreting, fall withing the AITC lesson plans. Even better, agriculture covers many classroom subjects: social studies, science, grammar, math, and many more.

So what are you waiting for? AITC is also great material for Agriculture Education efforts outside of the classroom.

For more information on Tennessee AITC visit tnfarmbureau.org/education-resources

Or to find more about the National AITC program or find your state’s AITC program visit agclassroom.org

Country Classroom in Maury County Tennessee


Today is World Food Day: My daily work involves production agriculture, bringing food from pasture to plate. Part of my work includes sharing my passion of cattle production with others who may not have that opportunity on a daily basis. Learn more about Agvocacy efforts throughout my blog. Thank a farmer for the food on your plate today!

Why did the chicken cross the road? (Yeah there’s a little Ag-education to this question).

Imagine having dozens of yellow school buses with 1,000 third graders show up at your workplace on a Tuesday morning and more than 100 parents in tow. Yikes! Actually, this was all an effort by the Tennessee Farm Bureau, the Middle Tennessee Research Station, and several others to share a little Ag Education with area youth.

We had 17 stops for each group, and each stop introduced a different aspect of Agriculture that directly, or indirectly, affects everyone’s daily lives. Most stops touched on basic Ag education; everything from a petting zoo, to crops used in materials used on a daily basis by most consumers. The parents, who had just as many questions as the kids, learned a bit about where their food comes from, how livestock are raised, and even that chocolate milk doesn’t come from a brown cow. At the end of the day, all of the kids got to take home some chocolate milk from the same processor where the research station’s dairy sends its milk.

The group leaders had tons of fun touring each stop with the kids and I look forward to participating in future events much like this. I’m always looking for an opportunity to share what I love most with kids and groups in the area, so just let me know if you’re interested.
I had several questions from teachers about how to incorporate agriculture related material into the classroom. So I made the effort last week to visit with the folks at Tennessee Farm Bureau. Wednesday I will share what I learned about the Ag in the Classroom program, and how educators can work this material into their classroom curriculum.

By the way, The chicken may have crossed the road to eat small rocks, pebbles, or sand. Chickens will store these in their gizzard. The muscles of the gizzard work to grind food against the rocks to help break down food particles.

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