Sounds Like Home to Me

It may be the sound of an old John Deere tractor, the engine running, the gears shifting as it putts across the field. It may be your old Angus cow 202 that is bawling for her newborn calf. It may even be the sound of laughter and screaming as your children run up and down the terraces of the field, making fun out what God gave them to play with. Some of these things are most enjoyable when you close your eyes and let your ears take you to the event at hand.

To be a good story in journalism, especially in a convergence piece, there has to be good sound. The sound should compliment the sound bites as well as the b-roll in the story. Together they have the ability to make a powerful piece! However, not many people think to step back and just appreciate the audio.

Audio has the ability to take your imagination wherever it wants to go, in order to make the story fun according to individual minds. That tractor, for example, might be red and rusty but still works like a charm. However, in another person’s mind when they close their eyes they might hear a brand new tractor or maybe one like their grandfather had when they were growing up. Audio provokes thought and provides a great source of storytelling. When done successfully, audio is a very powerful tool.

The Brownfield Agriculture News Network does an excellent job of including audio to compliment their news stories. Check out the link for a news story with complimentary audio.

http://brownfieldagnews.com/2013/01/22/faces-of-farming-ranching-chosen/

Storytelling is a huge part of advocating for agriculture, as I mentioned in my last post. So, whether it be from word of mouth or from audio you record while you’re in your tractor (see “Water n’Poo” below) any audio you can share about the benefits of farm life is great! “Water n’ Poo” is a great example of how a farmer used audio to explain how his family farm distributes fertilizer and why it is important. He used a flip phone, so iPhone users out there–you better be using your high quality audio to share about your agricultural lifestyles. It’s simple! So don’t forget to utilize the power of audio!

-TAL

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Multimedia in Agriculture

Telling your story is the most important thing someone can do correctly in agriculture. I started this blog to tell my story, like many others who blog about their ag endeavors and lifestyles. Many people have a passion for sharing with others what they love about farm life and what they experience on a daily basis. These advocates for agriculture are bringing a new light to an industry that has been hidden by shadows for a long time.

 

Why is this important?  You may say,”agriculture hasn’t been in the shadows…It’s always been active.”

“You are right,” I would answer. “Exactly right.” But people don’t realize how important the agriculture is to the population’s daily lives.

 

Now this isn’t another one of those “chocolate  milk comes from a brown cow” posts. We all should know where chocolate milk comes from… But for those of us who don’t, please contact me!  I’m sure there is a youtube video that can help you out with your confusion as well. However, what agriculture needs is a continuous burst of information to the public, informing them and insuring them of the safe production of our quality items. Since I’m in J2150, a multimedia journalism class, I believe the best way to communicate is through this avenue.  Multimedia and social media in agriculture may be it’s saving grace.

 

This industry has never been taught to talk about ourselves because 1.) humility is important to the average agriculturalist and 2.) we’re just too darn busy. Playing off the success of the Dodge Ram commercial from the Super Bowl two weeks ago, any person can see how easily advertising, multimedia and social media can put the ag industry as well as farmers and ranchers on the map.

Thankfully, people who are experienced in multimedia are able to convey our message to the public in a way that they can affectively understand it. We need to utilize these professionals to continuously tell our story to the public and answer any questions they might have.

 

Adversely, multimedia and social media may hurt our industry too. Many documentaries and videos have been made over the “corruptness” of the agriculture industry and how “factory farms” are taking over our industry. These are the perfect opportunities to talk and clarify what the consumer is confused about. The producers of these videos may have ulterior motives unfortunately, but any opportunity is a great opportunity to talk about agriculture.

 

What I look forward to doing in my future is affectively communicating about what we do in agriculture to the public and to concerned consumers. I think it is very important to share you passion, whatever it may be, with others. In conclusion, multimedia journalism is the perfect tool in agriculture keep consumers as well as our farmers and ranchers happy.

 

-TAL

 

Two Little Words

Sean and Leigh Ann Tuohy walked out on the stage. These esteemed givers were surrounded by a jam-packed room full of cattlemen and women from all over the nation.

I asked myself, “Why are they here? How does this relate to a bunch of good ‘ol cowboys and cowgirls?”

My question was soon answered. This couple, like many cattlemen and women, love to give. These people love to give of their time, money, experience, advice and whatever else someone could need. Like the Tuohy’s did for Michael Oher, these cattlemen and women give everyday and they can relate to the popular story that was recently made into a movie.

They began to speak about their lives in the past 10 years and how it has been affected by their relationship with Michael. Now, Michael was just an ordinary kid. He was predicted to have no future. He had nothing going for him. Michael was already predicted to join a gang as their body guard, who usually have about a two year life expectancy.

Now, we’ve all seen “The Blind Side” and have enjoyed the story of Michael becoming part of the Tuohy family–and if you haven’t seen the movie, shame on you! Go watch it!

These remarkable people stood literally less than 20 feet away from me. These people have had a major motion picture made about their lives, yet they claim nothing. They don’t want the fame, they don’t want the attention. They explained to us how it wasn’t about saving Michael, it was about Michael saving them.

They were driving down the road one night and saw Michael in shorts, walking through the pouring rain. Leigh Anne looks at Sean and says “turn around.” Sean did and the rest is history for Michael and the Tuohy family.

With the Raven’s recent win at the Super Bowl, Michael reached his ultimate dream. For Leigh Anne, she said it was amazing to see her son reach the goal he has always worked for. Just because she took him in, she enabled someone who was less than average to be something extraordinary! How many people have a miracle story like that?

Not many–or so you think!

Leigh Anne and Sean explained that all you need to do to help someone in life is to give. Give them a smile to brighten their day. Give them a tank of gas to get them home when they run out. Do anything to help someone and you will watch the effects expand and grow on others around you.

If you want one easy way to change the world. Here’s the place to start. Whether it is in agriculture or any other industry, to in the parking lot at Wal-Mart, there is always someone to help and give to, especially in today’s times.

I give you this mission. Spread one act of joy each day and see how it affects you and your friend circle, community, and family. This will reflect positively not only on their lives but also on yours. The major motion picture started with only two little words. “Turn around.”

-TAL

Connections

As my second week of school comes to a close I look forward to my weeks in store. This will be a BIG semester for me. 

 

Next week, I have the privilege to travel to Tampa, Florida for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association meeting. (Hello sunshine! Bye bye frigid Missouri weather!) At this meeting, cattlemen and women from all over the nation join together for the love of cattle. I am attending this event representing the Mizzou Collegiate Cattlewomen and look forward to making new contacts in the beef industry. I grew up on a cow/calf operation and have a passion for cattle. This passion drives me to stay involved and be persistent in my interests, with the focal point surrounding how I can help the beef industry in the future.

 

Today marks the start of the annual Alpha Gamma Rho Classic, a steer and heifer show for exhibitors to preview their livestock before the summer months. As I press publish, I will be walking out the door to reunite with many lifelong friends and to watch some great animals show. 

Now, how does Florida and a steer and heifer show relate? (Besides the fact that cattle are involved.)

Contacts!

They may be friends, or industry professionals–these people who share your passion will help you accomplish your dreams. My dream is to stay involved with the beef industry and stay active in order to keep it strong and marketable. These people also know other people in the industry so they act as a gateway for future opportunities as well. If there is any road to take, you can at least take one that someone has already traveled down, but make it your own story. Don’t let any obstacle stop you from reaching the dreams and goals you set. For me, making contacts isn’t the easiest due to the fact that I’m an introvert and I enjoy taking the passenger seat. However, the driver’s seat is the only one that will get you anywhere. 

Have a heavy lead foot and set the cruise–straight for your dreams.

Look Who’s Back

After a long break, The Ag Lady is finally back in business.

The fall semester of my sophomore year was challenging in many ways. Between my classes, my extracurricular activities and work, my blog posts fell short on my to-do list. This semester, I am required to take multimedia journalism 2150 for my major. In this class we have to maintain a blog and a twitter that incorporates multimedia journalism into our posts and tweets. So, The Ag Lady will be very active this semester as well as into the summer months–and it feels great to be back!

I am going to post several entries that may not be directly about agriculture, however there will be a tie to ag most of the time. I look forward to sharing more of my thoughts and ideas with you and hope to brighten your days with my passion for agriculture.

-TAL75364993734544258_lhcS0bBS_c

Ag Fact Friday!

Happy Ag Fact Friday all!

Here’s today’s fact:

The top five agricultural commodities are cattle and calves, dairy products, broilers, corn and soybeans. U.S. farmers produce 46% of the world’s soybeans, 41% of the world’s corn, 20.5% of the world’s cotton and 13% of the world’s wheat.

Blog post is on it’s way! I had a long and fun-filled 2 weeks. I spent my first week in Louisville, KY at the National Junior Angus Show where things always are interesting. Then, this week I had the privilege to attend the Missouri Angus Academy Tour. I have a good message to spread so don’t miss my next post. 

 

You can follow me on twitter for my Ag Fact Fridays as well at @the_ag_lady

-TAL

Ag Fact Friday!

Hey guys–

It’s Ag Fact Friday!

Did you know in 1960 one farmer supplied food for 25 people compared to today one where they supply food for 144 people? Well they do! Pretty neat huh?

Tomorrow, I head to Louisville, KY for the National Junior Angus Show and I cannot be more excited! New blog post soon with my experiences from junior nationals!

-TAL

#Agvocate

The famous music video parody “I’m Farming and I Grow It,” could not have peaked at a better time. 

When I first discovered the video, it only had 200,000 hits. Now, it has more than 3 million views. I admire the Peterson Brothers of Kansas for their short and sweet message that consumers easily understand. “I’ve got passion for my plants and I ain’t afraid to show it…” Now that’s something that I like to call “agvocating.”

What is agvocating? Well, it morphs from the word advocate which is defined as a person who upholds or defends a cause; supporter. Now, switch the d with a g and you get one of the biggest trends in agriculture today. It is a movement in which agriculturalists, farmers, ranchers, and many others involved in the agriculture industry can tell their story.

How can you agvocate? You can agvocate in any positive way. It’s easy. Start a blog (like me!) Tweet about your agricultural lifestyle or how you take care of your plants and animals (maybe even add a picture!) Give your friends an ag-related and informational Facebook status! You can agvocate by word of mouth. Share your stories with your friends at school, on the bus, on a plane… anywhere! Consumers want to hear what we have to say–we just need to learn to share.

Any agriculturalist, of any nature, is born with a common inborn passion for their land, animals and family. Sharing how your family farm operates is great because it is easier for consumers to relate to. (Can you say free advertising!?) But overall, making the sale isn’t what our agricultural industry is about. We aren’t trying to only make money for ourselves, but we also care immensely about what we produce, and that is a fact! (since it’s ag fact friday!)

I am honored to serve as the current president of the Missouri Junior Cattlemen’s Board of Directors and last week we hosted our 4th annual Missouri Junior Cattlemen’s Association Show-Me Beef Leadership Conference in Columbia, Mo. The MJCA board joined with about 17 attendees to share their passion for the cattle industry. Our theme for the conference was #Agvocate. This conference was in progress while  the “I’m Farming and I Grow It” YouTube parody was going viral. It was the perfect thing to show to the future of our industry how they can tell their story and agvocate when they return home.

The conference featured a trip to the Mizzou meat lab where we had the opportunity to watch how a steer was butchered into different wholesale cuts. We also had several speakers like Dr. Jim Spain, agriculturalist and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies at MU, as well as Garrett Hawkins, the Farm Bureau National Legislative Programs Director. We even had lunch at the University Club, where we were given a presentation how to prepare the food we were enjoying. Overall, it was a very successful conference for the board and the attendees.

My time at the conference led me to ponder if I was doing my job as an agvocate. I believe The Ag Lady is the best way I can share my stories with my friends and consumers. I also have a twitter @the_ag_lady where I tweet about current events in agriculture and I also share my Ag fact Fridays on there as well.

The last night of the conference, a couple board members and I gave refections before everyone was released for free time followed by lights out. Justin Vehige spoke strongly about how passionate he was for this industry and no matter how passionate as you are, there are others out there that are adamant about getting rid of your passion. Justin really hit home with me that our battle with animal activists like PETA and  HSUS won’t stop. His ideas blended with my story well–I gave my reflections about a story I had from my FFA trip to Washington Leadership Conference.

It was the day we were visiting the nation’s Capitol and we were on the Metro. At one of the stops, a couple of PETA activists got on our car and were conversing with each other. Soon enough, I found myself getting off my metro seat and going to make a conversation with them. We talked casually about what we were each doing that day. They shared they were protesting the use of cosmetics on monkeys and I shared how I was going to tour the Capitol. (Remind you, in FFA official dress!) Soon, we were talking about our mutual love for animals and I enlightened them about how I take care of my cows and what I do on my farm. They seemed very interested to hear what I had to say and wanted to hear more but unfortunately it was their stop to get off. The point of my story was to tell your story anywhere and everywhere you can to whoever will listen. However, forcing facts and numbers won’t exactly catch the ear of an unwilling stranger.

Garrett Hawkins of Missouri Farm Bureau shared three simple steps earlier that week for telling your story and how to easily connect with a consumer.

  1. Learn (I learned what the PETA activists were doing that day before I told them about my farm life)
  2. Connect (We shared a common interest with our love for animals)
  3. Share (I told them about my life at home and answered any of their questions)

These simple helpful steps will help you agvocate anywhere!

Hannah Bartholomew ended reflections with the idea to always remember where you come from and keep agriculture wherever you go. I couldn’t have thought of a better way to put my mind at ease because in the end, all you have to explain is exactly what you know and care about.

-TAL

“At any given time, one of us represents all of us.” Charles Kruse

“If not me, then who? If not now, then when?-JFK

Ag Fact Friday!

Did you know that forty-one percent of U.S. total land area is farmland (938.28 million acres). In 1900, the average farm size was 147 acres, compared to 441 acres today.
 
Happy Friday everybody! New blog post soon, and by soon–I mean today.
 
-TAL