What is your role in agriculture?
A Farmer of course. Being a mother and wife doesn’t prevent me from doing this. I do everything from helping work in the field and making business decisions. My husband and I are partners in this life on the farm, and that’s the way we like it.
What was your inspiration for becoming an agvocate?
The absolute pull of the consumers. Questions being asked among my friends and family in my community. The town I live by is surrounded by Ag and supported by it, but it amazes me how little they know on what we do and why.
What is your favorite part about being an agvocate?
Being able to tell our story. Our story is unique and ours. We hope to inspire other young people to follow their dreams, never how hard they may be. Also being able to give a face to a consumer on what a farmer looks like. We don’t all wear overalls and straw hats.
What is the most challenging part of being an agvocate?
Having fellow farmers or ranchers tell us we’re doing it wrong. It frustrates us beyond measure. It’s just different, not wrong. Every farm and farmer are different in their operation, just like everyone’s approach to agvocating is different. I wish we would spend more time lifting each other up, rather than tearing each other down. Consumers see that and are not impressed.
What advice for other farmer/ranchers who would like to become more involved in agvocacy?
Just start!! Whether it be just one thing, start. You may be good at pictures, than do Instagram. Maybe you don’t want/like to do social media, that’s ok. Start with inviting your friends or family to your farm. They may come to your home and sit inside but how many times have they come when you’re operating? It all starts with them. See they have friends and family as well. They are all consumers. If they have a positive and personal connection with you, you already have something going for you that I can’t get on social media. Invite them out for the day. Tell them to ask questions, no questions is dumb. And remember, be respectful. Something that is obvious to us that we see every day isn’t to them. They’re there to learn from the expert, and guess what that is you!
What is your biggest takeaway or memory from an AgChat event or Twitter chat?
Being able to connect with consumers across the country/world. I’m always encouraged to see consumers engaging to farmers/ranchers that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to where they live. Another thing is being able to connect with other farmers/ranchers across the country/world.
What does the AgChat Foundation mean to you?
Being able to connect with other farmers and ranchers with the same Agvocating goals. I’ve found some true friends here. All come from different backgrounds but all have the same path in connecting our farms and ranches to the consumer. I continue to grow with organizations like AgChat. Always helpful tips from them on how to communicate better.
Jenny Burgess is a Farmer who farms with her husband and two children in the heart of central Kansas. She grew up on a hobby farm not too far from where she raises her family now. The only child, she learned the true meaning of hard work. From bucking bales, feeding animals, and driving antique tractors, she was a girl who tried to keep up with her dad with the chores. She met her husband, who was from England, and eventually got married. They both had the dream of owning their own farm. Today that dream still lives and is growing, along with two kids. They grow Wheat, Corn, Soybeans, and Milo, all dryland crops.