It’s something special to reflect back on work started 5 years ago and see how far it goes and develops. For me, I never would have imagined the response that initial post received. Now, 5 years and 1,000 blog posts down the road, it’s amazing to see just how far the thought of being “Agriculture Proud” continues to travel.
In a recent post, I mentioned an experience in San Antonio where someone has taken the idea of Agriculture Proud and continues to make it grow. And it involves a blue cow!
The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation does some great work for agriculture producers in southern Oklahoma and north central Texas. They conduct a lot of private research and work hard to provide that material to producers. Much like a public land grant university and extension system, but in the private sector. I had the opportunity to tour their location a few years back to see some of their work, everything from cattle grazing and forage management to pecans and feral hog management.
While at the NCBA Trade Show in San Antonio, the theme of their booth was ‘Ag Proud – Tell Your Story’ while they encouraged advocacy and the use of the #AgProud hashtag on social media to share the experience. They had these blue cows – hundreds of them – that people were supposed to find and take photos of around the Convention. Along with some pretty cool shirts too!
I had the opportunity to catch up with the crew at the booth and hear how they came to use the ‘Ag Proud’ theme. They were pretty excited about it and it’s very cool to see a company, like the Noble Foundation, embrace the thought of being Agriculture Proud!
It was also kind of weird because they didn’t know who I was until I started filling out the contact sheet and then they saw all my social media handles are associated with AgProud. I’ve had several encounters with my online followers over the years and some fun reactions, but that was a fun moment of realization.
I have a sense of ownership with Agriculture Proud, seeing as far as I can tell I coined the term 5 years ago, and it means a ton to me personally. (Looking back I now realize I should have trademarked the phrase. That would be my greedy side filled with regret. Everyone has that buried away, right?)
But then again, it’s amazing to see other folks embrace that sense of pride in our agriculture community. It’s amazing to see other people embrace that they are also proud to be a part of agriculture and can use that as a part of their advocacy efforts. Farmers and ranchers can be an independent and reserved lot, so it’s great to see something inspiring enough they’re encouraged to share.
No regrets toward the project and I’m excited to see a company like the Noble Foundation take the AgProud banner to new heights! Especially this month, leading up to National Agriculture Day on March 18th, I’d love to see everyone share why they are Agriculture Proud.
It’s not about bragging how great you may think agriculture is, but rather finding opportunities to branch out and connect with other folks. Find opportunities to relate things they are familiar with to your work in farming and ranching businesses. Advocacy is a long row to hoe and our opponents have been much more vocal than we have, so we need every bit of support we can get.
Do you have something that signifies an agriculture advocacy campaign that you thought was pretty neat? Join the campaign and conversation this month by using the hashtag #AgProud (and #AgDay2015) and sharing your stories in the National Agriculture Day event page on Facebook!