One of the prettiest sights & smells this time of year is a blooming field of Meadowfoam!
It is harvested for seed, then crushed for oil and used in cosmetics. The meal, the byproduct from crushing, is used to feed cattle. Bees are used to help pollinate the flower and in return make delicious honey!
Yesterday I had the privilege of speaking at the Harrisburg High School FFA’s annual banquet.
I asked on facebook what I should talk about, I got a variety of answers so I tried to touch on all of it.
Nine years ago I walked the halls of this high school. Since then I have worked as a cheese maker, milk truck driver, pasteurizer, lobbyists’ intern, Farm Credit banker and now farmer. I graduated from Washington State University in 2008 with two degrees one in General Agriculture and one in Agricultural Economics & Management. I am currently president of Oregon Women for Agriculture and an AgChat Foundation Board member.
All of that wouldn’t be possible without agriculture and following what I am passionate about.
I love talking about agriculture and issues facing farmers and ranchers. I love using social media. I often use social media to talk about farming.
In 2009 I joined twitter to participate in a weekly twitter conversation about agriculture called #Agchat. Little did I know what a few tweets would turn into. I started a blog in February 2011 to expand on my tweets and facebook posts. In August 2011 I attended my first AgChat Foundation AgVocacy 2.0 conference.
The mission of the AgChat Foundation is to “Empower farmers and ranchers through social media.” The conferences offer training to better your social media skills and use them to engage others about farming, ranching and where their food comes from. In December of 2011 they asked me to be on their board.
I now chair the #agchat & #Foodchat conversations on twitter. #Agchat happens every Tuesday from 5 pm to 7 pm except every 3rd Tuesday when #FoodChat takes place. In June, I am going to New York City on behalf of the AgChat Foundation to another type of social media conference to discuss knowing your farmer through the twitter chats.
It is amazing where following your passion will lead you. I encourage you to do just that. Find your passion and live it.
If you are passionate about agriculture then there are limitless possibilities of where that could lead you. Ag offers variety of opportunities and options.
Currently 1 in 8 jobs in Oregon are tied to agriculture. While not everyone can be a farmer and not everyone can be an ag banker. If you want to pursue a career in agriculture it’s more than possible. Look at the variety of jobs I had in the past 9 years, they all involved agriculture of some type.
My freshman year of college I was not quite sure the direction I wanted to go in. A mentor told me to get a degree in Agriculture because a politic science degree was a dime a dozen. And it was true. I graduated right when a recession was happening. My friends who didn’t have experience or a degree in agriculture had trouble finding jobs. While the majority of us “ag kids” had jobs lined up.
Bottom line is that the experience you are getting being involved in FFA and ultimately agriculture is priceless to the success of your future.
We still use two-way radios on our farm, however it is usually during harvest. Today my dad’s phone is busted so we are relying on radios if he needs to get ahold of me.
We also have handles: My dad is 007 and I am B-41.
If you follow me on twitter or instagram you know that I use MarieB41 as my “handle” on social media.
Where did the B41 come from? My grandpa. I am the oldest grandkid & my next cousin wanted to be B-1, so my grandpa said I should be B-41 (B four-one)…get it? Now you know.
We know what they did before cell phones. Now I just wondered what they did before radios? A lot of hand signals while jumping up & down in the field?
There is no Oregon’s Monsanto Protection Act.
The anti-GMO, anti-technology, regressive crowd has given that title to SB 633, Seed Preemption.
To begin, there is no such thing as the Monsanto Protection Act…anywhere. There was a Plant Protection Act passed recently in congress. This protects farmers who had legally purchased and planted seed from activist judges who make decisions based on rhetoric and emotion from declaring legal seeds and plants to be illegal and ordering them to be destroyed.
I testified in favor of SB 633 over a month ago. I still stand by that testimony and the bill.
I have been accused of not supporting democracy and opposing local control because of my support for Seed Preemption. Let’s be clear about this.
- I support States’ rights as granted by the constitution.
- I support less regulation and this bill prevents multiple regulations on county & city levels.
- I support freedom to choose what you eat and grow but cannot dictate that to your neighbor.
As I responded to a recent blog comment.
I am a believer in Farm and Let Farm and I don’t believe in restricting my neighbor’s choice of what he plants. I do believe in being a good neighbor and discussing the options and the science of cross-pollination. If one is truly worried about cross-pollination there are multiple options to how to avoid it besides an outright ban.
Ultimately it is about freedom and choice and once laws & politicians start regulating what we can and cannot grow we lose both.
Lastly, SB 633 has little to do with GMOs and Monsanto. The Anti-crowd even acknowledges this in a recent Action Alert. They direct their followers to not mention GMOs when contacting legislators….
This bill makes a level playing field for all Oregon farmers and supported by both Organic and Conventional farmers. If you look through the anti-crowd’s rhetoric and scare tactics you will see that it is a common sense bill.
Good Neighbor Farmers
I admire people who go above and beyond to help others be successful. It truly takes a special type of person.
Judi Graff is one of these types of people. She loves to help people like me figure out how to make their blog better.
During the month of March a few of us joined what I like to call a “Blog Boot Camp”. Like most boot camps (usually fitness oriented) my participation dwindled at the end. However unlike my workout routine, I will still work at blog improvement using the tips I learned and continue to reference the secret “Blog Overhaul” Facebook group.
Through her suggestions and instructions I have revamped my “About” page, added a “Contact” page and cleaned up my side bar. I will continue to work on how the blog appears to a readers’ eye along with making behind the scenes adjustments to draw additional traffic.
I have learned blogging doesn’t have to be hard, you just have to know what you’re doing. :)
People like Judi Graff help make blogging easier. Thanks Judi for all you do!
Read more about the Blog Overhaul and blogs & bloggers involved on Janice Person’s blog: “How Do You Make Your Blog Better? Time, Effort & Shared Expertise”
Remember our winter project, the tracks on the fertilizer buggy. It was completed last week and has been hard at work fertilizing annual ryegrass fields.
Here are some pictures and a video!