Friday, August 10, 2012

Jamie Rhoades

Hi everyone, I’m Jamie Rhoades. I blog over at This Uncharted Rhoade and I am also one of the girls “behind the scenes” here at Faces of Agriculture. While we share everyone else’s story, we thought it was about time to share our own also (look for Elizabeth’s in the next couple of weeks)!

I live and work in the great state of Missouri, where we’re not quite southern, not quite western, but defiantly brimming with agriculture. My husband and I live on his parent’s farm and we have about 20 head of cattle, mostly Angus. My husband works with his dad on the farm where they raise cattle, hogs, and crops. I work for a University where I’m in charge of a research project that includes 24 gilts (female pigs that haven’t given birth yet). In addition to work, I love working with our cattle, writing and advocating for agriculture, hanging our with our husky puppy and photography.

I’ve been involved in agriculture for almost as long as I can remember. Although I didn’t live on farm or have animals when I was a kid, both of my grandfathers had farms – where they raised everything from cattle and sheep to hogs and crops. I was a long time member of 4-H, and when I hit high school I became very involved in FFA. I showed cattle at the county fair for a few years and found my real passion in animal agriculture. I also met my husband in high school where I fell in love not only with him, but also with the idea of working with and raising pigs and spending the rest of my life on a farm.

Although working in the agricultural industry isn’t for the faint of heart, I still love it. I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life. I started off in college majoring in agricultural journalism and later switched to animal sciences, but retained my love for writing. While in college I became aware for the first time of organizations such as HSUS and PETA and realized that my potential career path and way of life was at stake. I became passionate about spreading information about real farms and farmers, and sharing the story of agriculture to anyone who would listen.

I started my blog with the intention of sharing my little slice of life with anyone who might care to listen, in the hope that I could help just one person understand a little more about farmers and agriculture. It’s not easy to wake up everyday and go to work in an industry where you are rarely respected or appreciated by the people you are providing food for. But I honestly wouldn’t trade it for the world. I get to live in the country, surrounded by open fields and cows. I get to work at job that I’m passionate about, and I get to try to make a difference by sharing my opinion and experiences with others.

If I could help the public to understand one thing about this industry, it’s that farmers and ranchers are real people just like everyone else – not a huge business or cooperation. We have goals and dreams, successes and failures. Everything that happens on farm happens for a reason – our practices have been research and perfected over many years to give our animals the best possible care and treatment. If you have question about your food – talk to farmer. Don’t know a farmer? That’s what we’re here for!

Thanks Jamie for sharing your story! Check out her blog, Facebook page, and twitter to keep up with this farm girl!

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