“I get to talk—about farming!” That’s my response to anyone who asks why I want to major in Agricultural Communications. Anyone who knows me knows that these are two of my favorite things! I love to talk and I love my agricultural roots. Growing up on a 600-acre grain farm in northwestern Illinois has shaped me into the person I am today. Now I want to give back to the industry that has given me so much.
But why do I get blank or strange looks when I tell people what I’m majoring in? What exactly is Agricultural Communications? Well, it’s basically exactly what it sounds like, communicating about agriculture. By this definition, the profession has been around forever. Anyone who knows a farmer knows that he will sit in a coffee shop and “farm” with other farmers for hours on end, sharing ideas, experiences, and stories of the many successes and mishaps of rural living. And while the process of farming has changed dramatically over the years, farmers and their love to communicate with each other have not changed.
However, talking in a coffee shop isn’t a college major or a steady job. Professional AgComm could be said to have started in the late 1700s and early 1800s with printed farm journals like the Farmer’s Almanac and the American Farmer.
Since then, the profession has evolved to cover a multitude of topics and media. The AgComm profession communicates with everything from journalism and advertising to social media and blogs like this one. We talk about current topics in agriculture from GMOs and PETA to new technology and even the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
This blog is called Sowing Bountifully because 2 Corinthians 9:6 says that, “He who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” This is true for farmers, but also for communicators. I hope to sow my words bountifully so they can help others understand agriculture and its importance in our society. In turn, I hope this will help farmers as they continue to do their job of feeding our growing population. I can’t wait to get started!