Meet the 2017-2018 Class of The Crew!

Nebraska Farm Bureau has identified eight social media savvy student members to join our Crew. The Crew is a group of Nebraska Farm Bureau student members who enjoy agriculture communication and social media. Together, The Crew will work on reaching a larger audience with pro-ag messages and will help put a face to agriculture through social media in conjunction with Nebraska Farm Bureau. Members of The Crew have access to unique training sessions, such as exploring social media strategies on Capitol Hill.

NFBF is excited to introduce our Crew members to you! For the next year these students will help promote agriculture and rural America through their work on social media!

 

Mekenzie Beattie

Mekenzie Beattie

Hi! I’m Mekenzie Beattie! I am the sixth generation on my diversified family farm where our main focus is swine! I am an active member in 4-H and FFA and am excited to serve as the SEM FFA’s chapter president this upcoming year! I enjoy showing livestock, especially cattle! I also play volleyball and basketball and relieve my stress by playing the piano. I love to work on the farm and be involved daily in the Agriculture Industry. I have developed a thrilling passion for agriculture throughout my childhood and will continue that in my future! I am planning on attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln after my high school career! I hope to double major in Ag Business and Ag communications! I thrilled to be a part of The Crew and to share my love of agriculture with the world!

 

 

 

Halie Andreasen

Halie Andreasen

Hello everyone! My name is Halie Andreasen. I will be a senior this year at Boone Central High School in Albion, Nebraska.  I live on a family farm where we have a small feedlot, cows, and raise corn and soybeans. I love spending time with my spunky corgi, Charlie, and drinking all the sweet tea I can get my hands on. My passion for agriculture started at a young age and was inspired by my love of showing cattle. From then on, I have been extremely involved in 4-H, FFA, and other extracurricular activities within my school. I have found that the best way to positively influence the future of agriculture is by developing young leaders and encouraging them to find their voice and advocate for our future. Because of this, I plan on attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln while majoring in agricultural education in hopes of inspiring youth to take a stand in their love of agriculture.

 

 

Rebel Sjeklocha (2)

Rebel Sjeklocha

Hello all! My name is Rebel Sjeklocha and I will be a senior this fall at Maywood High School. I live on a farm and cattle operation with my family east of Hayes Center. I have one little brother, Jett, who will be entering the eighth grade and keeps me on my toes. Agriculture has played an integral role in my upbringing, and I would not change this for the world. My mom is a veterinarian and my dad owns a commercial hay grinding business. My parents are my biggest role models, and have shown me what it means to truly be passionate about what you do.

I am active in the Maywood FFA Chapter where I compete in a variety of contests, ranging from livestock judging to ag communications and ag sales. In addition, I am also a proud member of Hayes County 4-H. In 4-H, I show cattle and horses, and do a variety of other projects as well. I have served as an advocate for rodeo and agriculture as the 2016 Elwood Rodeo Queen. I also competed in the Miss Teen Rodeo Nebraska pageant in June held in conjunction with NEBRASKAland Days in North Platte.

I am looking forward to gaining new perspectives and serving as a spokesperson for ag by being part of The Crew. I cannot wait to see what this year has in store!

 

Kelsey Phillips

Kelsey Phillips

My name is Kelsey Phillips and I am the sixth generation in my family to ranch north of Mullen, Nebraska – a small town in the heart of the Sandhills. I am a 2016 Mullen High School graduate and am currently a sophomore studying animal science with an emphasis in beef reproduction. My family has a commercial cow-calf operation and we retain ownership of our feedlot steers. I have my own small beef herd and hope to one day return to my family operation. We raise our own corn and hay on our 240-acre pivot. I am a certified Artificial Insemination Technician and help my parents breed our own cows and with our custom A.I. business. My family has a small two-acre vineyard and as a hobby my dad makes a variety of fruit wines.

Growing up I was very active in 4-H where I did various projects, but particularly loved showing large and small animals. I spent many years showing swine at the Nebraska state fair and continue showing in FFA. I especially enjoyed my many years at the Nebraska State 4-H camp near Halsey, as both a camper and a counselor. As a high school senior, I had the privilege of attending National 4-H Congress as a youth delegate. Throughout high school I attended the Nebraska State Youth Range Camp where I learned to evaluate range conditions and identify plant species. From that experience, I was selected to give a presentation at the National Society for Range Management conference in California. During my FFA career I was involved in numerous competitions including public speaking, livestock and rangeland judging, and food sciences. I am currently an officer for my collegiate FFA chapter, a member of Nebraska Cattlemen, an Ag in the Classroom Pen Pal, and volunteer during the school year at the humane society.

Through these many experiences and opportunities, I have developed valuable life skills and found my passion for agriculture. By being a part of the Nebraska Farm Bureau’s Crew I hope to advocate for agriculture and share my love for this industry.  I am looking forward to learning about new communication tools and ways that I can be a positive voice for farmers and ranchers.

 

Kathlyn Hauxwell (2)

Kathlyn Hauxwell

My​ ​name​ ​is​ ​Kathlyn​ ​Hauxwell​ ​and​ ​I​ ​am​ ​very​ ​excited​ ​to​ ​be​ ​a part​ ​of​ ​this​ ​year’s​ ​​Ag​ ​Crew!​ ​

My interest​ ​in​ ​agriculture​ ​quickly​ ​developed​ ​as​ ​a​ ​young​ ​child​ ​growing​ ​up​ ​on​ ​our​ ​5th​ ​generation family​ ​farm​ ​and​ ​ranch​ ​in​ ​southwestern​ ​Nebraska. ​ ​We​ ​primarily​ ​raise​ ​cattle​ ​and​ ​grow​ ​commodity crops​ ​such​ ​as​ ​corn, ​wheat,​ ​and​ ​soybeans.​ ​My​ ​passion​ ​for​ ​agriculture​ ​developed​ ​further​ ​when​ ​I reached​ ​the​ ​age​ ​to​ ​be​ ​involved​ ​in​ ​4-H.​ ​As​ ​I​ ​started​ ​working​ ​with​ ​my​ ​show​ ​steers,​ ​and​ ​attending different​ ​clinics​ ​and​ ​camps,​ ​I​ ​definitely​ ​found​ ​myself​ ​at​ ​home​ ​being​ ​around​ ​the​ ​animals​ ​and​ ​the responsibilities​ ​that​ ​comes​ ​with​ ​them.​ ​I​ ​began​ ​to​ ​also​ ​show​ ​horses​ ​at​ ​a​ ​competitive​ ​level​ ​at​ ​the age​ ​of​ ​13,​ ​traveling​ ​all​ ​over​ ​the​ ​country​ ​to​ ​compete.​ ​In​ ​doing​ ​so​ ​I​ ​discovered​ ​a​ ​completely​ ​new facet​ ​of​ ​agriculture​ ​that​ ​I​ ​now​ ​account​ ​some​ ​of​ ​my​ ​best​ ​qualities​ ​for​ ​today.​ ​In​ ​the​ ​seventh​ ​grade​ ​I joined​ ​my​ ​school’s​ ​FFA​ ​chapter​ ​and​ ​the​ ​rest​ ​is​ ​history.​ ​As​ ​the​ ​years​ ​progressed​ ​I​ ​discovered more​ ​and​ ​more​ ​about​ ​the​ ​agriculture​ ​industry,​ ​way​ ​more​ ​than​ ​I​ ​thought​ ​even​ ​existed.​ ​I​ ​found myself​ ​to​ ​be​ ​in​ ​love​ ​with​ ​speaking​ ​events,​ ​working​ ​with​ ​other​ ​members,​ ​and​ ​also​ ​getting​ ​in​ ​the dirt​ ​by​ ​being​ ​on​ ​the​ ​livestock​ ​judging​ ​and​ ​vet​ ​science​ ​team.​ ​This​ ​year​ ​I​ ​will​ ​continue​ ​my​ ​FFA career​ ​as​ ​a​ ​senior​ ​and​ ​FFA​ ​President​ ​at​ ​McCook​ ​High​ ​School.​ ​After​ ​I​ ​graduate​ ​I​ ​aspire​ ​to​ ​attend the​ ​University​ ​of​ ​Nebraska​-Lincoln​ ​and​ ​start​ ​the​ ​process​ ​of​ ​becoming​ ​a​ ​veterinarian​ ​with​ ​majors in​ ​animal​ ​science​ ​and​ ​biochemistry.​ ​I​ ​can’t​ ​wait​ ​to​ ​see​ ​what​ ​this​ ​year​ ​holds​ ​for​ ​the​ ​​Ag​ ​Crew 2017-2018!

 

Amanda Most

Amanda Most

Hey, agriculturalists! That is, hey as in hello, not hay like the stuff you feed cattle.

My name is Amanda Most and I am a senior at Ogallala High School in western Nebraska. After graduation, I hope to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and major in Agricultural Communications. I am involved in a large variety of extracurricular activities, but there is one that easily makes the top of the list: FFA. I am currently serving as the President of my chapter and am excited to be competing in the Vet Science competition at National FFA in October.

One of my favorite songs just happens to be “Farmer’s Daughter” by Rodney Atkins, because that’s exactly what I am: a farmer’s daughter. I live on my 5th generation family farm southeast of Ogallala where we raise corn, soybeans, peas, wheat and a herd of cattle. Growing up on a farm that is rooted so deeply within my family has given me a greater appreciation for food production and all that farmers do. From a young age, I have even played a role in production agriculture. I have raised and shown livestock since I was around 6 years old and I continue to show hogs and cattle. Even though I am mainly involved at a local level, I have found my voice in agriculture by being a livestock producer. I have seen the negative effects that can occur when consumers are uninformed and I personally have been challenged about the intent of the agricultural industry. These instances have only fueled my passion for serving in an industry that is crucial to our state, but more substantially, for feeding the world. It is more important than ever that we as agriculturalists stand up and advocate for ourselves and our livelihoods.

My passion for the agricultural industry and love for public speaking and writing will be put to work as I join “The Crew.” I am excited about being a member of The Crew because it is the perfect place for me to connect with others who share my passion for agriculture. Together, we will grow as agriculturalists and use our skills to serve as voices for agriculture. Let’s agvocate!

 

Miranda Hornung

Miranda Hornung

Hello Everyone! My name is Miranda Hornung and I live in Davey, NE population 157. As my journey as a member of the Crew begins, I am extremely excited to share my passion for agriculture with a wide audience.

I will be a senior for the upcoming school year at Raymond Central High School where I participate in a variety of activities including SkillsUSA, Student Council, Spanish Club, FCA, and of course FFA. I also have a knack for music, as I enjoy singing, play the flute, and have taken classical piano lessons since I was in kindergarten. I work part-time for a local bank, crop insurance agency, and for my family’s grain truck and trailer agribusiness.

While I have always been involved in agriculture and FFA since 7th grade, my interest for ag communications has only recently been sparked. Through public speaking contests, currently serving as a two-year president for the Central FFA Chapter, and entering an ag blog competition, I have developed an undeniable passion for “agvocating.”

I hope to continue to grow this passion through the upcoming year as a member of the Crew and in my future as I plan to attend UNL in the fall of 2018 and major in agricultural education with minors in leadership, communication, and entrepreneurship.

 

Jaclyn Frey

Jaclyn Frey

Hi everyone! My name is Jaclyn Frey and I live on our family farm just outside of Albion, Nebraska. From an early age a passion for agriculture was instilled in me. Hard work and dedication were just a couple of the traits that I learned to value through agriculture. I grew up caring for animals around the farm and riding in the tractor with my dad. That passion quickly grew as I became involved in 4-H and FFA. These organizations offered many opportunities for me to explore the agricultural industry and to see that agriculture reaches people from all lifestyles, not just those who live on a farm. Showing cattle has allowed me to connect with people, from across the state, who share the same passion as me. By retaining show heifers and purchasing cows from local producers, my cow herd has reached around thirty head. I also rent eighteen acres of dryland and raise corn and soybeans. I am a freshman at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, majoring in Agricultural Education. Advocating for ag is something that is really important to me so I can’t wait to share my story with you all!

Meet the 2016-2017 Class of The Crew!

 

Nebraska Farm Bureau has identified ten social media savvy student members to join our Crew. The Crew is a group of Nebraska Farm Bureau student members who enjoy agriculture communication and social media. Together, The Crew will work on reaching a larger audience with pro-ag messages and will help put a face to agriculture through social media in conjunction with Nebraska Farm Bureau. Members of The Crew have access to unique training sessions, such as exploring social media strategies on Capitol Hill.

NFBF is excited to introduce our Crew members to you! For the next year these students will help promote agriculture and rural America through their work on social media!

 

 

abby-steffen

Abby Steffen

Hello! My name is Abby Steffen, unlike many of my Crew-mates, I did not grow up on a farm. However, I did grow up in the rural town of Crofton, Nebraska. I have been exposed to many aspects of agriculture since I was a little girl; my grandparents owned a small farm not too far away with a variety of livestock and crops. I spent many summer days watching my grandpa work and sometimes I even got to help. As I moved into high school I became very involved in my town’s local FFA chapter. Junior year, I was appointed chapter Reporter and the following year I was voted as President. It was my early childhood experiences and my involvement in FFA that sparked my interest and passion for communication agriculture.

Now, as a sophomore at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, I am majoring in Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Communication. I am also active in the Ag Sack Lunch Program, a UCARE research project, and student organizations such as the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow and Collegiate Farm Bureau. I am looking forward to the potential adventures that will come my way!

 

catherine-jones

Catherine Jones

“Yeah I live on a farm!” That’s what I would say when my friends from high school, in populated Omaha, Nebraska, asked. I was under the impression that I lived on a nice size farm and was contributing majorly to the agricultural industry. Then I came to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and met people who lived on farms a hundred times larger than mine. I was discouraged, but soon realized I was contributing in my own way.

My name is Catherine Jones and I am from a small farm in Omaha Nebraska, but I am making a big difference when it comes to the future of agriculture. My 48-acre farm was just big enough to raise livestock for urban youth to exhibit in 4-H. They got to experience how to raise livestock and how agriculture contributes to their daily lives, all while living in the metro. This is where I realized the disconnect between the population and our state’s agricultural industry. I made the decision to come to UNL and study Agricultural Environmental Sciences Communication and minor in Animal Science and Ag Business. Living in the city on a farm I got to see both worlds and the misunderstandings upfront, this gave me the passion to be an advocate for agriculture!

 

corin-pelster

Corin Pelster

My name is Corin Pelster, I am from Elgin, Nebraska and have had a passion for agriculture my whole life. Growing up on my family’s ranch I got to experience first-hand the hard work that is put into agriculture. I was extremely active in my schools FFA chapter throughout high school where I gained a significant knowledge of how important the agriculture industry really is. It wasn’t until my last semester of senior year, though, that I decided I wanted to pursue a career in agriculture for myself, and it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am currently a junior Agribusiness major with a Banking and Finance option at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with intent to graduate December 2017.  I have always enjoyed talking about agriculture with others and knew this would be a wonderful opportunity to advocate for agriculture!

 

courtney-nelson

Courtney Nelson

My name is Courtney Nelson. I live on a farm in east central Nebraska where we grow corn, soybeans, and alfalfa. We also own a family farm in Kansas where we grow wheat and milo. As part of my SAE, I rent 40 acres of land on which I grew corn this year, and I also own market swine. I am a senior in high school, and I am very involved in a variety of activities. My hobbies include watching Nebraska volleyball and playing the piano. I have always been surrounded by agriculture, but I didn’t realize my passion for it until I attended the Nebraska Agricultural Youth Institute this past summer. I look forward to sharing my story and passion about agriculture and learning more about the industry as well.

 

 

 

darby-oconnor

Darby O’Connor

Hello advocates for agriculture! My name is Darby O’Connor from Paxton, Nebraska. I pride myself in the fact that I am a part of the agriculture industry. My part in agriculture is expressed through my hobby of showing livestock – I enjoy spending time in the barn preparing for shows. I am active in FFA where I serve as the Paxton FFA President, and continue to grow as an agriculturalist. I am proud to play a role in such an amazing industry and love sharing my passion for agriculture with both producers and consumers. I grew up on a ranch north of Paxton and love the experiences that came with growing up in an agricultural family. My mother is my inspiration when loving to show, my father who was a rancher is the reason I was blessed enough to grow up where I did, my brother Merritt continues to follow his passion of livestock while judging at SDSU and my other brother Rhett in McCook for rodeo. I love to share the greatness of agriculture and can’t wait for the journey that The Crew will send me on.

 

kelli-mashino

Kelli Mashino

Hey everyone!

My name is Kelli Mashino and I live on a family farm near the small town of Spencer, NE. I’m a third generation agriculturalist with strong roots in faith, family, farming, and FFA. I’m a senior in high school and plan to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for Agricultural Communications next fall. I am very active in extracurriculars at my school. FFA, however, is my favorite.  I have such a HUGE passion for agriculture. Growing up on the farm, I have learned the true value of hard work and dedication. My appreciation for agriculture has grown more and more the older I get and I have found that advocating for agriculture is one of my biggest passions! I love public speaking as well as writing. Writing and giving speeches have always been strengths of mine in high school. That is why I am so excited to be joining the CREW! I can’t wait to put my strengths to work and help spread the word of agriculture. Agricultural literacy is far more important than most people think. That’s why everyone who has a background in agriculture should take a stand and share their story. I can’t wait to go on this journey with you all! It’s going to be a great year of advocating for ag!

 

masie-kennicutt

Maisie Kennicutt

Hello Everyone!

I am Maisie Kennicutt! I am 17 years old and a senior in high school from Wallace, Nebraska! For those of you who have never heard of such a place, it is a small town of maybe 300 people or less. It is located in the southwestern corner of the state. I live on a little farm about 18 miles southwest of town where I raise sheep, hogs and chickens. I have a brother, Aidan, and a sister, Emily, and we have been involved in sheep 4-H for 3 years now. We had never done any type for 4-H before but we decided to give it a try and we fell in love with it! Now we have a few ewes we saved back this year because we would like to start our own herd.

Other than working with our sheep, I spend most of my time at school activities. I enjoy going to the different sporting events at our school and cheering loud for all my friends. Most of the time I am in the ag room working on projects or getting study packets ready for competitions. I spend any time I possibly can outside. Whether I am doing animal chores or just working on little things around the farm. My goal for my future is to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and get my degree in agriculture education. With my degree, I want to return to a small Nebraska town to teach the generations after me about an industry that is so important in all of our lives.

 

sam-steward

Sam Steward

Hey everyone!

I am an aspiring horticulturist, landscape designer, and drone flyer.

My name is Sam Steward. I am in my second year at Southeast Community College in Beatrice, Nebraska. My major is Agriculture Business and Management Technology. I have two focuses in Horticulture and Agribusiness. I will be receiving my Precision Agriculture Certificate in September. I am very involved at SCC. I am president of SCC Ag Club, Vice President of SCC Collegiate Farm Bureau, and I am currently in the process of getting Horticulture Club started back up on campus.

I am originally from Hickman, Nebraska, but I recently moved to Mead, Nebraska. I graduated from Norris High School where I was very involved in my FFA chapter. I was also a part of the Star City Llama and Alpaca 4-H club where I showed my llamas and alpacas at the Lancaster County Fair. I have been a member of the Alpaca and Llama Show Association for 15 years. I am also member of the Nebraska Arborist Association and the Nebraska Nursery and Landscape Association. I am also attending classes to become a certified Arborist for the state of Nebraska.

savannah-schafer

Savannah Schafer

Hi Everyone!

My name is Savannah Schafer and I am excited to be a CREW member! I am a sophomore majoring in Ag Education with a minor in Animal Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.   My parents and I operate the Schafer Angus Farm near Nehawka, Nebraska.   Our farm is small but mighty with a herd of registered Angus cows that provide high-quality replacement heifers, bulls, and market animals.  We raise corn, soybeans, and alfalfa hay.

My passion for the agriculture industry has developed as I have grown.  I was an active member in 4-H and am still an involved member in FFA.   FFA provided me countless opportunities to become an advocate for agriculture by experiencing the world of agriculture up close and personal through contests, conventions, and classes.  I am excited to receive my American Degree in October.  My membership in the Nebraska Junior Angus Association opened numerous channels to the cattle industry and today’s issues. Through these programs, I have developed wonderful friendships with people who share my enthusiasm and concerns.  I enjoy discussing today’s issues with other enthusiasts and hope to make a difference in closing the gap between farmer/rancher and the consumer.  I am the fourth generation to help run the family farm and I hope to keep it running for future generations to come.   My goal is help educate all ages as to the importance of agriculture, farmers, and ranchers.  I am dedicated to talking about the issues with anyone and everyone!

 

katie-nolles

Katie Nolles

Hello!  I am Katie Nolles, a fifth generation Hereford breeder on both sides of my family, from Bassett, Nebraska.  Growing up on my family’s ranch was the most influential part of my life, as it shaped my work ethic, developed my passion for agriculture, and instilled my values in me.  For as long as I can remember, I have looked forward to working cattle, branding, checking calves, feeding hay, fixing fence, and making breeding decisions.  Our operation is diverse; we raise registered Hereford cattle to sell bulls to cattlemen, have a custom embryo placement business, and a small herd of commercial cows to raise F1 calves.  My parents met while showing cattle, so it is natural that I follow in their footsteps by showing my Herefords on a local, state, and national level.  Maintaining partnerships and friendships with people across the country that span multiple generations is special to me.

Showing livestock led me to a few key youth leadership organizations.  Joining 4-H as a five-year-old, I quickly took advantage of the many projects and learning experiences.  FFA honed my public speaking skills, broadened my passion for agriculture, allowed me to travel the world, and opened my eyes to my future career in agricultural education.  The Nebraska and National Junior Hereford Associations established my career in the beef industry.  All of these organizations gave me leadership and career skills, along with lifelong friendships.  As I transition out of these organizations, I look back with fond memories at serving as a FFA State Officer, National Hereford Queen, and National 4-H Congress Youth Leadership Team member.

Currently, I am a sophomore at UNL majoring in Agricultural Education.  I’m passionate about learning as much as possible about agriculture.  My experience and interests range from production to policy to education and outreach.  I’m looking forward to connecting with you this year as a member of Nebraska Farm Bureau’s CREW!

 

Meet The Crew by Nebraska Farm Bureau!

Nebraska Farm Bureau has identified nine social media savvy student members to join our Crew. The Crew is a group of Nebraska Farm Bureau student members who enjoy agriculture communication and social media. Together, The Crew will work on reaching a larger audience with pro-ag messages and will help put a face to agriculture through social media in conjunction with Nebraska Farm Bureau. Members of The Crew have access to unique training sessions, such as exploring social media strategies on Capitol Hill.

NFBF is excited to introduce our Crew members to you! For the next year these students will help promote agriculture and rural America through social media posts!

 

Jacob Goldfuss

Jacob GoldfussMy name is Jacob Goldfuss, I am from O’Neill Nebraska and have been passionate about agriculture for a long time. Even though I lived in town, I helped my grandpa on his ranch south of town for as long as I can remember. When my grandpa retired my dad and I bought back some cows and a few bulls and run a small cow/calf operation still today. Agriculture is such a vital part of our everyday lives, that’s why I am so passionate about advocating for it. I love educating and communicating agriculture to people who might not know as much about it as I do. That is why I am currently a sophomore at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln pursuing a degree in Agricultural Education.

I have always tried to get as involved in agriculture related clubs and organization as I could my whole life. I was very dedicated to FFA in High School and donated most of my time to the chapter as I held an office all four years. Now in college, I am the vice president of Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow, on the leadership team for the CASNR Coffee Cup Club, in Collegiate FFA, Collegiate Farm Bureau, and now, the CREW! I look forward to working with Nebraska Farm Bureau this year promoting and advocating for all the Nebraska farmers and ranchers out there through the use of social Media!

 

Victoria Talcott

Victoria TalcottIf I were asked to describe myself I would say passionate about agriculture, creative thinker, and looking to make an impact on the world. I love everything about agriculture, and I especially love educating people about the importance of agriculture in Nebraska and the entire world.

My name is Victoria Talcott. I grew up on a farm near Bennet, NE with my parents, Norris and Lynnet, and my brother, Garret. On our farm we raise corn, soybeans, alfalfa, and cattle. I have always been very active in 4-H. I seriously tried out almost every project from showing livestock to making a babysitting kit. I loved everything about 4-H! I was also very active in my FFA chapter. This year I will be receiving my American Degree in Kentucky. My SAE (Supervised Agricultural Experience) includes farming my own 30 acre farm, my own cattle herd, and working on my parents farm.

I am currently a student at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln where I study Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Communication. I chose this major because I want to express the importance of agriculture to people around the world. I am currently an intern at the Nebraska FFA Foundation. This next year I will be blogging, writing social media posts, and much more as a member of the Nebraska Farm Bureau. I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to start sharing my knowledge of agriculture. I can’t wait to write for you all this year!

 

Laura Lundeen

Laura LundeenHi everyone!

I’m a small-town, Nebraska born and raised, sunset loving, faith, family, and farm girl. I am very passionate about many things, and many of those things have a foot in agriculture; therefore, I am very passionate about agriculture! (Especially its impact on our world through food and other products.)

I grew up on a farm of corn and soybeans near a small town of 750 people. I have a hardworking dad, mom, and older and younger brothers. Although we have never raised livestock, I brought pigs, sheep, and cattle to the county fair. I learned to love farming through my family and the work we do, but when I left for the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, I learned to love it even more. I am studying Agricultural Education and plan to graduate in December of 2017. I did not start out studying ag. The quote, “You don’t realize what you have until it’s gone” came into play for me my first semester of college. After spending 6 weeks of my life having little contact with the industry that makes the world go around, I quickly learned that I did not love what I was studying at that time. It was not long before I decided to switch to my degree to agriculture.

Ever since, my classes and other activities have sparked my love for food and agriculture and I am excited to share. I hope you enjoy learning about ag as much as I do!

 

Haley Ehrke

Haley EhrkeHi everyone my name is Haley Ehrke! I grew up in South Central Nebraska, I am very proud of my roots. I am a farmer’s daughter and very excited to be a member of the Farm Bureau Crew. I am currently a senior in High School and plan on majoring in Agricultural Education next fall. I enjoy spending my time showing cattle, checking cows, spending time with friends and family, biking, and taking pictures. Random fact, my favorite food is steak. On our farming operation we grow corn, soybeans, alfalfa, milo and we have a cowherd.

 

Catherine Jones

Catherine JonesHello Everybody! I am a farmer’s daughter, a sister and granddaughter. I am a freshman at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln studying agricultural communications. My name is Catherine Jones, I grew up on a farm in the middle of Omaha where my family owns a horse boarding facility, and raises 4H livestock for our urban 4H club. I have had the unique experience of helping urban youth learn all about the agriculture industry and how to be farm tough! Living in the city, I saw all of the urban population’s misconceptions of agriculture’s’ true story. That is how I found my passion, advocating for agriculture and improving society’s agricultural literacy!

 

Cheyenne Gerlach

Cheyenne GerlachMy name is Cheyenne Gerlach and I am passionate about animals. I love riding horses and I’m known as the bottle calf whisperer at my house. I also tame 1,300 pound steers every year for the fair. My favorite sport is showing pigs. I pulled my first pig at twelve. I think the best bonding time is in the farrowing house. I have a voice for agriculture.

 

 

 

 

Rachel Noe

Rachel NoeHey there! My name is Rachel Noe and I’m a senior Agricultural Communications major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I am a fifth generation Noe to have been brought up on my family’s farm in Spring Bay, Illinois. On our farm, we grow corn, soybeans, cantaloupes, watermelons, hogs, and wheat. Although I grew up working in production agriculture, I didn’t truly appreciate the industry until I started college. I decided to study Ag Communications because I enjoy speaking to others about agriculture and want to give back to the industry that has shaped me into the person I am today. I’m looking forward to the conversations this blog will start, as well as this opportunity to share my passion for agriculture.

 

Emily Puls

Emily PulsI am a farm girl, born and raised. I am from Wakefield, Nebraska, where my family raises corn and soybeans!

Currently, I am at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, studying Agricultural Education in hopes of educating future consumers the importance of the agriculture industry and all the careers linked to it.

My free time is spent helping dad around the farm, reading, watching NCIS, and of course…cheering on the Huskers! GBR!

I want to advocate for agriculture because not only is it a great industry but also people need to know about certain areas like their food production. Creating informed consumers another step in combating misinformation that is so wide spread. Everyone wants to know where their food comes from and I just want consumers to see the hard work production agriculturalist do to keep the food they produce safe!

 

Emily Cumming

Emily CummingI’m not the everyday farmer’s daughter. Born and raised on a family farm in Central Nebraska, I have taken my love for agriculture and found something that I adore. Bees! Who would have thought a grain and livestock farmer’s daughter would find joy in working with honey bees? I sure didn’t!

I started working with bees after I had the push from my parents to take up an activity in agriculture that interested me. I talked to members of the Nebraska Beekeeper’s Association who helped me make my dream of becoming a beekeeper a reality. I am proud to say I have been raising these little delights for three years! I am so excited to share my point of view on agriculture!

Agriculture has had a large influence in my life since I was very little. I may not take part in the same type of agriculture that my family raises and nurtures, but agriculture is agriculture and I am more than happy to participate in the agriculture industry, especially with the all-important honeybees.

I’m Emily Cumming and I am a beekeeper.

Agriculture’s New Voice – Social Media

Nebraska’s State FFA Convention was this week in Lincoln. The FFA students are inspiring and driven young minds with a growing voice. While they face a world much different than generations in the past, including the increasing gap of consumer knowledge about agriculture, they are armed with a growing new tool – social media.

Social media includes Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and much more. While all are great ways to keep up with friends and family, they are also powerful tools. Tools that those who do not have firsthand knowledge of farming and ranching are using to broadcast an untrue message. Through social media, we are ALL journalists with the ability to be published instantly.

Above is a graph from Neilsen, showcasing what types of information people trust. This is why you should care about social media – what other people say is what people trust.

Above is a graph from Neilsen, showcasing what types of information people trust. This is why you should care about social media – what other people say is what people trust.

While those who attack will not go away, spreading the truth about agriculture relies on those who live it. If you’re active on social media already – whether it’s sharing photos of your children or keeping track of high school classmates – here are some tips to make the transition to agvocacy easy:

Do’s

  • Seek to help, not harm
    • The goal should always be a positive outcome, view your role as a bridge builder and resource.
  • Be respectful and polite
    • You may not agree with the opinions expressed, but keep the golden rule in mind – treat them as you’d like to be treated.
  • Stay within your realm of expertise
    • Keep on point. If the conversation begins to deviate, don’t be afraid to decline to comment, or provide them with resources that are experts.
  • Move quickly and thoughtfully
    • The internet is written in ink, not pencil – be sure you review your post before sending.

Don’ts

  • Get into an argument
    • Info and opinions can get lost in translation and again, the internet is written in ink.
  • Personally attack commenters
  • Delete posts
    • Unless they violate community guidelines, this makes you lose all credibility.
  • Forget resources

Facebook

  • A post with a photo is 47% more likely to be read
  • Share updates regularly
    • These don’t all have to be original – use links or share posts from others.Picture2

Twitter

  • Shorten links
  • Utilize hashtags responsibly
    • Your whole post shouldn’t be hashtags, but highlight the important points

YouTube

Pinterest

See all of the photos from the 2013 Nebraska FFA Convention here!

 

–Kassi Williams is a proud farmer’s daughter growing up on a cow/calf and grain farm in Iowa. She earned a Bachelor of Science from Iowa State University, majoring in both animal science and public relations. She has been involved with agriculture from birth, working in multiple facets of the industry including the USDA and Extension. Kassi relocated to Nebraska in 2010 to work for a marketing communications agency for a multitude of agriculture clients.

As vice president of public relations for Nebraska Farm Bureau — Nebraska’s largest farm organization — I’ve been doing a lot of research and dabbling in social media.  As I’ve learned more (and more and more), I’ve come to realize the power of social media and how we in ag can use it and must use it — because our political adversaries certainly are.

I’ve recently become a fan of Twitter, the “microblogging” site that asks you to answer the question,”What are you doing now?” There’s some of that on Twitter, but it’s evolved rapidly so that the information shared is far more useful — such as posting the URL of a useful web article, or information about what animal rights groups are doing, or asking a question of the folks who are following you. (Following is like being friends on Facebook, except that on Twitter you don’t have to follow the posts of people who are following you.)

Last night I participated in something fairly incredible: a sort of Twitterfest for ag types. The event was organized by Michele Payn-Knoper who posed five discussion question. First of these “agchats” was held last Tuesday, April 7. We logged into the chat at twitterchat.com, then posted away, responding first to the questions, then to each other’s posts, and away it went. Lots of side conversations and direct tweets to participants — fast and furious. And exhausting — keeping up with half-a-dozen real-time conversations was work! But fun, very fun. I got a lot of useful ideas and hope I gave some, too.

Nebraska Farm Bureau is on Twitter as NEFarmBureau. Hope you’ll want to follow us!