What is your role in agriculture?
I grew on my family farm in Southwest Michigan, where we raised fruits and vegetables for our own farmers market and grew corn and soybeans. Today, my family continues to grow over 2,000 acres of corn and soybeans. Although I’m a lawyer by day, I still enjoy helping on the farm in the evenings and weekends, especially during harvest!
What was your inspiration for becoming an agvocate?
I think once you are involved in agriculture it becomes part of you and stays with you. I was always so disappointed to see people spreading misinformation and attacking my family’s way of life. Instead of just getting mad about it, I decided to take my talents and skills and turn them into something positive.
What is your favorite part about being an agvocate?
When a consumer tells me that grocery shopping and approaching food issues is no longer confusing and scary because of my agvocacy.
What is the most challenging part of being an agvocate?
Keeping calm and remaining civil, especially when the other party in the conversation isn’t giving me the same courtesy! Attacks on family farms just feels personal and it can be so hard to realize that, for the other party, they’re just going based on the (mis)information they’ve been given. Likely, comments aren’t meant as a personal attack on our families, even if it feels that way.
What advice do you have for other farmers or ranchers who would like to become more involved in agvocacy?
Reach out and connect with other farmers that are online! Having a strong support system with other bloggers and social media users is absolutely essential to learning, growing your efforts, and staying sane.
What is your biggest takeaway or memory from an AgChat event or twitter chat?
I enjoy participating when I have time and connecting with a different group of people.
What does the AgChat Foundation mean to you?
I think it is very important that we have agricultural organizations that support and promote farmers as they move into the realm of social media and learn to be their own agvocates.
Amanda is from Southwest Michigan where her family farms 2,000 acres of corn and soybeans. For 26 years, Amanda and her family ran and supplied a roadside market selling their own fresh fruits and vegetables. After graduating college, Amanda attended law school at Michigan State University College of Law and is now a practicing lawyer.