The other day, our office manager reminded me that next month I will have been with Issues Ink for 13 years. Having grown up rural — my parents own a farm machinery dealership and farmed over the years — agriculture was always on the table as a future career option. Upon graduating high school, I was down to two career paths — agriculture or pharmacy.

My decision was validated within weeks of joining the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences at the University of Manitoba. These were my kind of people, and after over 15 years working in the industry, that sentiment is still very true. I love the ag community. There are very few industries that would measure up for their drive, people-centricity, commitment to innovation, and continual improvement carefully balanced against a culture of stewardship and fierce protectionism of their way of life.

As the agriculture and seed industries face issues such as social license, consumer miseducation and urban-rural divide, the importance of sharing our passion about agriculture increases. We all have platforms (think Twitter, the post office, the hockey rink, Facebook, etc.) to share a positive message, which is personal and relevant to you, about the good news and work of the seed and agriculture industries. Tackle a topic that is near and dear to you and start small — the more you practice, the easier it will become. You might be surprised to witness the ripples you can cause in your sphere of influence and beyond. Everyone likes a good story.

The people in this sector have made it very easy to stay rooted here. They are great to work with and I value the knowledge and friendship that we have shared along the way. There are still a few days my husband grumbles about my chosen career path, but like him (a teacher with two teacher parents), I am the product of my environment. It’s in my blood and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

There are lots of great resources available to help share the #AgProud message. Groups like askthefarmers.com and agriculturemorethanever.ca have built great libraries of information and imagery to get you started.

Photo credit: agmorethanever.ca