Help Syngenta Choose the 2019 #RootedinAg Contest Winner
Check out the entries and vote for the one you think is most deserving. All voters who give us their email addresses in the form provided will be eligible to participate in a drawing for a $50 gift card. Online voting ends Aug. 30, 2019, with Syngenta announcing the grand prizewinner this fall.
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Farmer/Co-Manager of Riverview Farms
Field Rep/ Social Media Coordinator at Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Association
Growing up, my roots in agriculture had only just sprouted. I struggled when my friends would want to hang out together and I had to stay home if my parents had work on the farm. Although I loved the animals and exploring the land, those feelings at one point were of jealousy and admiration for other lifestyles. But having a brother almost 11 years older who said at the age of four that he wanted to be a farmer, those feelings didn’t last long.
Read more about Tammy...
Even though I was his little sister, he taught me how to drive a 4-wheeler and a tractor. He started showing cattle after receiving a Herd Builder project from the FFA alumni, and I followed in his footsteps when I joined 4-H. He told me to join the FFA when I reached high school, and my response was that I thought it was a boy thing to do. But I joined anyway and realize that it would have been one of my biggest regrets if I hadn’t. When I lost the first calf out of my first cow, I thought that perhaps raising cattle wasn’t in the cards for me. My brother quickly reminded me, “I’ve never known you to give up.”
He still reminds me of that to this day. I always said he was my role model growing up. Not only did he set the bar high for me, but he continues to be a role model in agriculture for everyone around him. He’s as close to perfect as a person can get, being a hard worker on the farm, a full-time agronomy supervisor at an agriculture research station, and a father and husband to his wife and five young children. However, I can’t only thank my brother for keeping me rooted in agriculture. If it wasn’t for my mom and dad buying the farm from my grandparents, we wouldn’t have had the amazing childhood that we did. Our farm dates back to 1836; and as the seventh generation on the farm, there is no greater legacy for my brother and me to have lived on the same land our ancestors were raised. That truly has kept us rooted in agriculture!
Graduate Research Assistant
University of Georgia
As the sun rose, I could hear her get up, tie her apron and put on her shoes to get ready for the day. She would work in the backyard garden daily, bringing vegetables and fruits to the kitchen where she would spend the remainder of the day canning, salting, pickling or cooking them. She encouraged me to work hands-on with the land. An Azorean immigrant, who didn’t obtain an education or know English, taught me my first important lessons in agriculture.
Read more about Kathleen...
My goals are to break the gender and educational barriers within my family as the first female graduate from a four-year university whose agricultural path will lead to a higher level of education. Inevitably, I hope to inform industry, growers and consumers with the knowledge I gain from my research. Agriculture, for me, is a way to maintain cultural, family and community traditions.
Research Specialist in Agriculture Policy
University of Illinois
I frequently recognize growing up on a family farm as the first seed in my ever-growing passion for agriculture. And while that was the first seed, it wasn’t until my high school FFA experience that the seed began to sprout. Throughout my high school and college years, I was fortunate to have several wise mentors who assisted me in personal development, influencing and guiding my future in agriculture. But I believe one particular mentor set my life on an agricultural trajectory that I may not be on otherwise.
Read more about Krista...
When she saw my potential, she didn’t let me deviate from what I could be. She pushed and inspired me in my supervised agriculture experience project, to earn my State FFA Degree and to be a National FFA essay contest winner. Even after high school, she was still there motivating me to earn my American FFA Degree. With incredible dedication to her students’ success, she constantly encouraged me to reach the next level. It is no wonder she was honored as Illinois’ Top Vocational Agriculture Teacher in 2012 and is a recipient of the Honorary Holbert Award from the Department of Agriculture at Illinois State University.
Today, my husband and I farm with his family, raising crops, animals and most importantly our three young daughters and baby on the way. At one time, I thought I needed to leave agriculture to see the world. But now I see our family farm as part of an important global market, and I have amazing opportunities to represent agriculture worldwide.
I am gratified to live a life rooted in agriculture and honored to be a part of agriculture on so many levels, from farmer to agricultural business owner, from volunteer “agvocate” to agricultural policy analyst. I love seeing how I can make connections in those roles to impact and shape the future of agriculture. And through it all, I can picture Mrs. Pech motivating me to reach beyond as she did years ago. When I’ve seen her in recent years, I can tell she follows my agricultural involvement. She takes pride in seeing what past students have done and can do. And because she always sees potential, she still asks what’s next for me.
Vote for Your Favorite #RootedinAg Finalist!