What's new? What's on trend? What should I wear to this or that?These are just a few questions we tend to tackle each week on Fashion Friday at the Couture Cowgirl. But sometimes we need to hop over to my first love ~ The Family Farm, MY family farm.
I had the opportunity this past week to guest blog for Just Farmers Just Farmers is a digital sandbox for those interested in using conversations, relationships and community to harness the power of humanity’s inner want for social interaction in all forms. This is what my farmer friends had to say about their site it is " a play on our everyday profession as Farmers we have created “Just Farmers…”. Just Farmers is not specifically about the agricultural meaning of farmer and really is a more broad look at how through the use of different social channels conversations are being grown into crops of relationshipsand the harvest are the communities brought together in the end. More simply Just Farmers… includes those people interested in farming communities of engaged committed individual people by engaging in conversations." I was thrilled! How exciting first of all to share my thoughts with a whole other audience and secondly to talk about something I truly loved. I got quite a bit of feedback on my blog so decided that I needed to share with all of you ~ so here it goes~ I hope you enjoy it !
(yes this is me and dad)
I can’t remember a time growing up when our old ranch house did not have a baby calf on the back porch, a little lamb in the bathtub, stray kittens in the washroom or baby chicks under a heat lamp in the living room. Of course this was not all at once but it was a common occurrence. That’s just what happened when you lived on a farm, right? And being a farmers daughter I was there right alongside my dad nursing them back to health and finding a place for them in the world of our farm – A farmers daughter ~ nothing I loved more!
As I grew up I was proud to have the title of 4-H chapter president, National Junior Hereford Association director, College Ag Ambassador, and as time went on Marketing Manager of the company for which I worked, State president for California Women for Agriculture. I strived to do my best in all that I did, making many friends along the way and leading as best I could trying to live up to the titles I was so very blessed and honored with.
As I started my journey in social media I again wanted to do my best, to share the story of my family farm, to engage in conversations with consumers, to build the bridge and assist in connecting the dots with those that might have questions about the industry I had come to love. I wanted to be the best Agriculture Advocate I could possibly be! I wanted fellow social media friends to look to me for assistance, to be a resource for them. I wanted to be the first one to post an interesting story or comment when our livelihood was viewed in ill light.
And then one day I thought to myself ~ Why? This is not a competition. Who am I?
I loved my community of farmers and ranchers more than anything and wanted to know what was the best way to represent them, I realized it was quite simple – by being ME , being who I am – a farmers daughter. I wanted to continue to be a resource for fellow farmers and ranchers because I believe it is my moral obligation to share my story not only to represent my family farm but for those that might not feel comfortable expressing their thoughts. I needed to listen to them, understand and share. I needed to reach out to consumers whenever I could, to engage in conversations, share my stories of farm life and why we do what we do because I have learned through my adventures in social media that people don’t buy into what you do but why you do it . I am eager to celebrate not only what I do but what my fellow farmers and ranchers do too, encouraging others to do the same.
So what is my point? Am I an agriculture AGvocate or not? Do I need a title to describe the work I do for American Agriculture? I used to think so but as of late I have come to the conclusion that I am just ok being a farmer’s daughter. For I learned about being the best representative for our industry that I could be through all of those baby calves and chickens and kitty cats-
I learned that:
1. life is not always fair – sometimes as much as I took care of an animal it died, life happens and so does death
2. being a team player is important- I needed to work with dad to get the job done
3. key to success is people not information- everything is not in a book it is gained through experience
4. I have gained grace through the blessings God has given me
5. follow your heart and intuition in all that you do, especially when explaining to others what you do in farming
“I believe that each of us has an essence, a quality at the very core of our being that makes us who we are. It is what guides our thoughts, our feelings, our tastes; it sets us apart from everybody else. I believe that finding ways to express that essence is one of the greatest joys in life. What else is as satisfying as leaving your mark on something and making it your own. “
I wish these were my words but they are from Oprah Winfrey and I read them awhile back and have kept them close because I believe they help me in sharing my ag journey with others and I believe that they can help each and every one of you. We all have a message, a story to tell.
So as we all struggle to find our place in telling our agriculture story I think it is important to just BE – be You – and don’t try so darn hard. For you have lived it and no one can take your stories and experiences away from you.