What is your role in agriculture?
I am a row crop farmer from Indiana. The crops I raise included corn, soybeans, popcorn, and wheat. To break that down further I grow yellow dent corn, waxy corn, soybeans, soybeans for seed production, popcorn for Pop Weaver, and just a bit of wheat.
What was your inspiration for becoming an agvocate?
Several years back I noticed industry magazines beginning to write about farmers taking the initiative to speak up about their farms and lives. I thought I might give this a try so I started a blog on my phone in a hotel room in Hawaii with no idea what I was really doing. Five years later here I am with some success in advocating for AG online and in person, and I’m also taking opportunities to teach others what I have learned along the way.
What is your favorite part about being an agvocate?
I have interacted and/or met with so many great people both in and out of agriculture since I’ve started all this. This is what really keeps me going on a day to day basis. If I never took the time to write some blog posts or tweet there would be a whole host of people and experiences I would have missed out on in the last five years.
What is the most challenging part of being an agvocate?
Sometimes the idea of helping people understand why I farm the way I do seems overwhelming when at times it seems there are so many forces working seemingly in opposition. It’s important to remind myself that many times the loudest voices online aren’t necessarily large in number. They just may be the vocal few. There are relatively few of us in AG too, but that doesn’t mean we can’t a powerful voice as well!
What advice for other farmer/ranchers who would like to become more involved in agvocacy?
Just start somewhere. Start yourself a twitter account, blog, Facebook page, etc. It doesn’t have to take much of your time. Just try one platform and see how you like it. Invite some non-AG friends or groups to your farm for a tour. I promise you’ll enjoy having a dialogue with people who are curious about what you do.
What is your biggest takeaway or memory from an AgChat event or Twitter chat?
The consumer panels at the various AgChat Foundation conferences around the country are always the highlight of the conference for me. Sometimes it does sting to hear what the non-AG community thinks about farming and the industry in general. But each time I come away from these panels I have a better understand of the public’s concerns about AG today, and I can get back to agvocating in a ways that I can better listen to and engage these people with questions about my farm.
What does the AgChat Foundation mean to you?
AgChat Foundation is a great resource and community of farmers and industry professionals from all walks of life, but with a common thread of farming and ranching. By being involved I am able to help others, and I’ve found plenty of people who can help me. Many of the people who may call on me, or me on them, through a text, Facebook messages, tweet, or email to help out with a particular issue are often involved in some way with the greater AgChat community.
Brian Scott is a 4th generation corn, soybean, popcorn, and wheat farmer from Indiana. Married with two children Brian farms the land alongside his father and grandfather. Online he can be found agvocating as The Farmer’s Life on his blog, Facebook, twitter, YouTube, and Instagram channels. Brian has been a member of the AgChat Foundation board of directors for one year.