A couple of evenings ago, the Brant County Federation of Agriculture held its annual meeting at my family’s farm. It was a pretty neat experience considering it was the first agricultural meeting I’ve ever attended, and I was able to meet some new people involved in the industry that I hadn’t been familiar with prior.
The guest speaker for the meeting was a lovely individual known as Farmer Tim. If you haven’t heard of this guy, I highly recommend checking him out via social media. Tim is what we in the agricultural community refer to as an agvocate, meaning someone who advocates and spreads awareness for individuals in the industry.
During his talk at the meeting, Tim raised many valid points regarding some misconceptions surrounding the agricultural industry, and further, the stigma that clouds the topic of mental health amongst farmers. He emphasized the significance of being or becoming an advocate and illustrated the many benefits that come from standing up for farmers and all members of the industry.
While the information Tim shared with us wasn’t necessarily anything I wasn’t already knowledgeable about, his talk really encouraged me to contemplate the importance of education and awareness within the farming community. Farmers and producers are the foundation in getting the message of advocacy out to the public, and collectively, members of the industry can work to make a difference regarding the misinformation that clouds some consumers’ perception of farming.
Agvocacy is certainly relevant for those of us who are active members of the ag community, but it’s even more relevant for those who aren’t. Agvocacy is an extremely effective way to spread awareness and generate understanding for anyone unfamiliar with farming practices, and it’s a crucial step in bridging the gap between members and non-members of the industry.
Here’s to agvocacy, ladies and gentlemen.
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