Why Do I Agvocate: Elizabeth Held

What is your role in agriculture?

My job is to help farmers and ranchers tell their story. I like helping people find their voice and figure out how to contribute to all the crazy conversations going on about ag today.

What was your inspiration for becoming an agvocate?

Seeing how much misinformation there is about agriculture really pushed me to join the conversations and to help others do the same. There are so many communication tools for farmers now. I try to match the write person with the right method.

What is your favorite part about being an agvocate?

I love it when I’m able to change how people view food and farming. Things like GMOs, pesticides and animal antibiotics can sound scary to consumers, but when we’re able to explain how and why they’re used they become a lot less frightening.

What is the most challenging part of being an agvocate?

I find it really hard to deal with the fear-mongering anti-agriculture activists promote. There’s no need to fear your food! We have the safest food supply in all of human history, thanks to modern ag tools.

What advice for other farmer/ranchers who would like to become more involved in agvocacy?

Tap into the AgChat Foundation and other networks that exist to support you. There’s a lot of resources available for farmers looking to get into agvocacy, use them! I’m always happy to answer questions and others at the AgChat Foundation are too.

What is your biggest takeaway or memory from an AgChat event or Twitter chat?

When I attended my first AgChat conference in 2015, I was blown away by just how awesome everyone in this community is. Everyone involved with AgChat is passionate, kind and dedicated to supporting ag. They’re some of the coolest people I know.

What does the AgChat Foundation mean to you?

The AgChat Foundation is a great group. In addition to supporting farmers and promoting agriculture, AFC has also helped me make friends. Last year at the conference, I met Rhonda Bode Stoltzfus, the writer of the awesome IowaMeetsMaui blog. Rhonda has since become one of my favorite people and we were able to hang out last time she was on the east coast.

Elizabeth Held is a director at the White House Writers Group, where she advises food and agriculture clients.