Saturday, July 5, 2014

5 Agvocates to Check Out While You Wait For The Storm To Clear

All across Iowa we've experienced heavy rains and strong winds lately. If you're still waiting for the storm to pass, roads to open up, or fields to dry out (and even if you're not) take some time to check out these excellent agriculture bloggers. I regularly follow their pages and have been fortunate enough to meet a few. These agvocates are my role models, and are great about communicating what is happening on the their farms.

1. Katie Olthoff

Last summer I was lucky enough to meet Katie Olthoff at a social media class in Hampton, Iowa. Then, about 6 months later she was panelist at a Food Dialogues event I attended at Iowa State University.  A busy farmer, mother, and business owner, Katie is dedicated to blogging about her experiences through the Commonground organization. Her perfect blend of farm stories, cute DIY posts, and life lessons make her blog an enjoyable and informative read.

2. Dairy Carrie

Now an industry wide known agvocate, Dairy Carrie is one of the leaders in communicating farm practices to consumers. I first learned of her work last summer and pick up something new from her Facebook page or blog almost daily. In the past year, I've learned you can always count on her posts to be the honest truth, good news or bad, straight from the farm. I admire her courage to talk about tough issues like animal accidents/death and face large companies, like Panera Bread, that post anti-farmer messages. Someday, I'd love to visit her operation or hear her speak in person.

3. Trent Loos

Before I'd ever heard of agvocating, or Iowa State was ever on my radar, I attended an agricultural communications conference where I heard Mr. Loos speak for the first time. Immediately, I was captivated by his passion and knowledge. In the few hours I spent with him, the facts and figures he shared planted the seeds for my agvocating roots. The realities he shared shocked and angered me. Since then, I've enjoyed checking in on his website and listening to his radio show. Hopefully he will come to Iowa State again.

4. Larry Sailer

At the same time I met Katie last summer, I was introduced to Mr. Sailer's blog posts. I enjoy the perspective he can share as he's experienced many changes in the agricultural industry. His humble approach and impressive network make his posts feel like a warm conversation at the local coffee stop. The stories he writes often include references to the small towns where I completed my first internship and truly communicate the close knit, rural area's dynamics.

5. Peterson Farm Brothers

As a college student, it's been really easy for me to look at the last four blogs regularly and admire all the work they've been doing for the industry. For the past two years thoughts of "When I grow up and blog..." have filled my daydreams. It all seemed so far away and unrealistic to make a part of my life until I saw some guys my age stepping up. Their agvocacy adventure began with parody videos like this and has transformed into farm tours and international speaking trips.!/HOME

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