2015 was such a crazy year for me in regards to advocacy for dairy farming. I never in a million years thought I would be traveling all over the country talking about our family dairy farm. Here is a recap of an amazing year.
I started off the year speaking to our local 4H group about using social media to advocate for agriculture. I had the privilege of presenting with Marie of Oregon Green at the Washington State Dairy Women at their annual Professional Relations Conference. I then traveled to Austin, Texas to attend the CommonGround annual meeting.
I started out the month traveling to Spokane, Washington to assist with the Washington Farm Bureau booth at the trade show. We had some great conversations with folks. I was also asked to attend a session, “Engage” It was very insightful and I highly recommend it to any other farmer/rancher. The icing on the cake was being featured in Pink Tractor’s Premier Edition of their new magazine!
We traveled to Olympia, Washington with our young cooperative group for Darigold to talk to our representatives about dairy related issues. We have great representation for our area so it was so easy to just talk to them. It was so fun to catch up with old friends like Lori of Montana Farm Girl, Bobbi of Harrold’s Dairy & Melissa of Cloud Cap Farms.
I was so excited when I was asked by the AgChat Foundation to help plan the Pacific Northwest Regional AgVocacy Conference. It was held in Spokane, Washington. I was happy to see such a diverse group of folks from various AG backgrounds attend. I had a great time meeting new people and presenting. It addition, a blogger came to visit our farm. That was a first for me! Sara of “It’s MomSense” came to visit and wrote about her experience here.
I was so thankful for the break in May. I am pretty sure I did not go anywhere this month, that I remember anyway! Our month was packed with school field trips to the farm. I love when kids come to the farm. So many children these days, even in rural communities that know little to nothing about farms. Added bonus our kids love to share “their farm” with other kids their age. Advocates in the making. Special shout out to Dairy Farmers of Washington for the goodie bags and Darigold for the chocolate milk.
I love June Dairy Month. It is always so much fun to promote dairy through social media & my column in the local paper. In addition, I had the privilege of joining Best Food Facts in California to connect farmers with food bloggers. We traveled to UC Davis, New Hope Dairy, Putah Creek Winery & T&Y Strawberry Patch. Such a great trip connecting food bloggers with agriculture.
In July farmer & I spent my birthday in Seattle, Washington attending a board meeting for our cooperative, Northwest Dairy Association (Darigold). Constantly learning about agriculture, specifically anything dairy related is incredibly important to me. Later that month, I traveled to Arkansas for the 2nd part of the Best Food Facts blogger program. We visited Tyson Foods while there.
What is there not to love about fair month?! Not only do the kids love to share their calves with others, we took it as an opportunity advocate for dairy. The dairy barn had all sort of educational material I had saved up from trips as well as new signs I had made busting some dairy myths. AND Ask the Farmers turned 1! Such a fun project with great people.
September was such a crazy month. I cannot remember much other than school, soccer, field trips and something about a film maker coming to the farm. We had the privilege of having EMMY Award winning filmmaker, Conrad Weaver visit the farm to talk about the drought. The film, “Thirsty Land” is coming out spring 2016! Soooo excited.
I traveled to Chicago to attend the final gathering for the Best Food Facts #TASTE15 blogger program. In Chicago we visited Spirit Farms in the midst of corn harvest, meet Stephanie Izard when we had dinner a Girl and the Goat and I learned how to make pasta at The Chopping Block. Such a great trip.
Farmer & I also attended the NMPF Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida.
I was so excited when I was contacted by Elanco to join them at #BlogHerFood15 in Chicago. Such a great opportunity to bring the dairy farm to food bloggers. We even had a chance to meet Ree Drummond.
I then traveled to Nashville, TN to attend the AgChat Foundation 2015 Cultivate & Connect conference. I was honored to be asked to join the AgChat Board as well as present with Brian Scott, The Farmer’s Life. Another great AgChat conference in the books! We even snuck in an Ask the Farmers group photo.
We ended the year with some of our favorite dairy folks in Portland, Oregon. Our final gathering with the young cooperative group where farmer & I became the president couple. We will spend another year representing our cooperative and fellow farmers! What a great way to end a great year.
The rest of the year was spent writing for the local paper, representing our local farm bureau as a board member, speaking engagements and so much more. I have been so fortunate to have all these amazing experiences. Agriculture has so many amazing people in it.