AHS January Blog: The Importance of Advocating for Agriculture

Photo credit: Alexander Steinhof. Shared under a Creative Commons license. Click for more information.

Photo credit: Alexander Steinhof. Shared under a Creative Commons license. Click for more information.

The Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences publishes a monthly blog written by students, alumni and faculty sharing important topics and helpful resources related to the fields of agricultural, extension and human science. In the January blog post, Agricultural Science student Sarah White, discusses the importance of advocating for agriculture and sharing your ag story.

If someone were to ask me what was the most important thing I have learned throughout my time as an undergraduate so far at NC State, the answer would be simple. It is something that many leaders in North Carolina’s agricultural industry have stressed the importance of to me through my classes and clubs. Before I tell you the answer, let me tell you a little bit about myself. I grew up spending time with my Grandpa who raised hogs and grew soybeans, milo, peanuts, and corn from 1972 to 1997 in rural Sunbury, NC. My Grandpa started farming on his own after he decided that he didn’t want to work for another person. His farming operation was highly successful and his land is still being used for growing row crops today. 

Spending time on the family farm with my Grandpa as a child was very influential to where I am today. My Grandpa instilled a love of agriculture in me and taught me the importance of respecting the land and animals that help provide for the farmers that tend them. Although after graduation, I do not plan to be a farmer, I know that I want to work in the agricultural industry. Spending my childhood growing up on the farm with my Grandpa is what led me to my decision to attend NC State and pursue a career in agriculture. Without my passion for agriculture, I would not have had the opportunity to have influential internship experiences and to learn important life lessons. 

So what is the most important thing that I have learned at NC State? The answer would be agricultural advocacy. I have been privileged enough to listen to amazing speakers who have shared the importance of why you should advocate for agriculture. I feel that the best way to advocate for agriculture is just what many of my professors at NC State have had me do for class assignments; share my ag story with others. Sharing your ag story is the best way to connect with others, because it allows you to explain to them why agriculture means so much to you. The most unique part about sharing your ag story with others is that everyone’s story is unique as to who they are as a person. The similarities and differences in ag stories are what helps to bind together agriculturist into a community of people who are willing to help you in any way that they can. Agriculture is full of caring people who are part of a big family, if they can’t help you they will make sure to find someone who can. The commitment that agriculturalists have to take care of their land and animals is parallel to the commitment that they have for people. 

Many people know that agriculture is about producing food and fiber to keep the world turning, but they often forget just how much sacrifice that agriculturists put into making the products we use each day. With the world population increasing rapidly, agriculturalists are faced with the challenge of producing more food and fiber on less land. This is possible through sustainable practices and new technology, but what agriculturalists need the most is support. A simple thank you to someone you know that is involved in agriculture can mean so much to someone who is facing many challenges but still preserves to fuel the world that they love. I challenge you to share your ag story with others to help advocate for agriculture, and if you don’t have any ag story that’s more than okay, thank someone you know involved in agriculture for all that they do. Your ag story is worth sharing!