Kansas Agriculture Week – A salute to the agvocates!

After years of remaining silent, the agriculture industry has finally found its voice. It started quietly with a few farmers deciding they were tired of the assaults from outside organizations and ill-informed consumers. But has now grown into a full-fledged marketing and advertising campaign.

Today, agriculture is telling its story with the same volume and intensity as its enemies. That volume is made possible by a legion of ardent supporters, farmers and their family members that understand the essential link between advocacy and prosperity.

Agriculture advocates have been aptly named agvocates and are leading the charge against miss-information and incorrect facts. These are the people responsible for changing agriculture’s image and voice.

Some of these agvocates are the same people that are also driving the tractors and manning the milking barns but many, many more are spouses and family members of farmers and others employed by farm-related businesses. They write blogs, take photos and shoot video on the weekends and outside their office jobs.

As part of Kansas Agriculture Week and a day ahead of National Ag Day, I want to commend all of the great agriculture agvocates. Without them, the industry would have not made the strides it has in telling its story and communicating with consumers.

A few of my favorite agvocates that has taken to the blogosphere (and I’m sticking to Kansans today ) are . . .

Debbie Lyons Blythe.She manages her family’s ranch outside White City and between the cattle and the kids, always has something interesting happening on her farm. http://kansascattleranch.blogspot.com

Kim Baldwin. She’s my cousin-in-law (my husband’s cousin’s wife) and she, like me, is still adjusting to the role of farm wife. Kim’s husband, Adam, farms just down the road from us and is very active with several agricultural organizations.

You can find her on Twitter, Facebook and at her blog at

http://aliveandwellinkansas.wordpress.com

My final two favorites are . . .

DeEtta Bohling who Tweets as @ksgrains and blogs as part of the Kansas CommonGround organization and movement to unite consumers and farmers. The website http://findourcommonground.com/food-facts/food-prices/ is a great resource for people with questions and that want to learn more about agricultural practices and how they translate to food safety and prices.

There are several other women who contribute to the CommonGround website and also blog. I encourage you to browse the website to find links to connect with more great agvocates.

Vickie Winter, who recently left the corporate world to stay home with her two young children, assists her husband, Jeff, on the family farm outside Wichita. Vickie farms at http://winterfarmlife.blogspot.com and posts great pictures of her adventures on the farm and with the kids. She also offers great ideas to get kinds involved with agriculture.

Kim, who blogs at  http://kimscountyline.blogspot.com is another Kansas farm wife doing her part to spread the positive message of agriculture.  She does a fantastic job of covering a wide variety of topics and includes some fun recipes – currently its easy cheesy popcorn and baked caramel corn. Yumm!!!

Kim was gracious enough to award me The Versatile Blogger Award and I intend to extend the honors to 15 other bloggers but I want to include some non-Kansas bloggers so will make that part of a different blog posting.

For now, I want to shine the spotlight on some great Kansas agriculture agvocates and congratulate them on a job well done. Without them, agriculture would not be able to spread its message and connect with the millions of consumers each day.  I encourage everyone to check out their blogs and follow along as they tell their agriculture story.


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