(Jamie) Were back! Let’s join Duane and Lindsay as they discuss her blog, Jean’s Boots are made for Talking.
(Duane) Duane Toews joining you on AGam in Kansas. While at the Kansas Livestock Association Annual Convention and Trade Show, an opportunity to catch up with Lindsay Sankey from Economy, Indiana, and Lindsay, you got to share some perspective with the producers here at the conference. Tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into doing what it is that you currently do to promote the industry. (Lindsay) Sure, I grew up on a purebred shorthorn operation in Indiana and have since after graduating from college and working in agriculture communications, have started a personal blog called Jean’s Boots are Made for Talking, which really catalogs the life of a stockman’s wife. It started out as a real world example of life working for the NCBA in Washington, D.C. as a single gal when lived out there. I’ve since moved back to Indiana, gotten married, married a stockman and now the purpose of that blog is to tell our beef story, to connect a real couple and a real family to beef production and really try to put minds to ease as people go to the meat counter and have no idea where their food came from, what kind of face or production practices might be behind it. What I do is look at production and techniques and different things that we do locally on our farm and then how that affects the end result of what consumers eat. (Duane) We think about transitioning from rural to urban America and making that go as quickly and smoothly as possible as far as that information transfer. Economy, Indiana, I understand it doesn’t get much more rural than that. (Lindsay) That’s right. So, we don’t have a source there in Economy to buy groceries or anything. A lot of the beef production in our area goes on to much bigger cities. But a way that we tell that story is of course, through internet blogs, or letters to the editor. And really even people who grow up or live now in rural communities don’t have a sound understanding about how that beef is produced. So, that’s why I tell our story every week. (Duane) We think about the opportunity to do that. The electronic age has really transformed our ability to reach out to a much larger audience. We’re no longer isolated in those rural areas. But how do you come up with things that are relevant each and every day? (Lindsay) Well, I actually blog once a week, but I find inspiration on what to write about every day. You know whether it’s treating a sick animal or the birth of an animal or shipping something to market, there’s something done on a beef operation every single day that’s worth telling about. And even if it doesn’t happen in the barn, maybe it’s something about the humorous look at newlyweds trying to figure this thing out, and trying to integrate short horned genetics into a fifth generation Angus herd. There’s always a way to find humor and a lesson in what we do and I try to make that very relatable. So whether it’s teaching kids discipline from halter breaking calves and comparing that to how kids play sports as consumers in town, there’s always a way to make it personal and relate back to the consumer. (Duane) Now obviously your background in communications and education in that arena helped you come to the point where you can do that. I know a lot of producers just kind of feel inadequate, or what they have to say isn’t important. But that’s really not the case. (Lindsay) That’s not the case at all. Those involved in agriculture are the most passionate people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working around and growing up with. And we’re very genuine people. And that’s a common misconception maybe that we don’t have it in us to tell our story. But really, wouldn’t the world feel better about things if we knew that everyone we ever talked to was telling the truth. And in agriculture that’s what we have to do is really be honest about what we do and tell that story. And who better to tell our story than us? You know, if we don’t talk about beef production, someone is going to make it up and it’s going to end up in the media. (Duane) Our thanks to Lindsay Sankey, Economy, Indiana, joining us here on AGam in Kansas from the Kansas Livestock Association Annual Convention and Trade Show. Jamie, back to you.
(Jamie) Thanks, Duane. OK, it’s time to grab a cup of coffee, but don’t go far away – next up is this week’s Kansas Soybean Update.