Skip to main content

Advocacy is NOT easy

Advocacy is NOT easy


Advocacy is NOT easy. Promoting and supporting your industry and your livelihood sounds like something that should be easy and always enjoyable. But, it is not always liked or the most beautiful thing to do. There are always nay sayers out there or people who just don’t know what you’re talking about. 

Education is often the most important aspect to advocacy. When you break down the daunting details it can often seem less scary and more understandable. Often times I feel like when I break down the issues, people understand my perspective. You just have to explain and educate others on the issues you are advocating for.

But advocacy is not just hard as a task. It can be emotionally trying as well. Advocacy can often test your mind and emotions. It can test your values and morals. Standing ground and defending your work can be emotionally exhausting. It wears on you and sometimes to the point of wanting to just stop.


But to me the hardest part about advocacy is the emotional strain it can put on your family. For me, advocacy means I am away from my home, my kids and husband. I travel to Washington DC and Sacramento to advocate and share our farm story with people who don’t understand the struggles we face or need an explanation of our way of life. This means being gone from family and the very people I am advocating for. Being gone from the farm and the people who are working so hard everyday to ensure your farm thrives. 

When I am absent it can cause double duty for my husband, my mom and members of the farm back at home. My husband and family are often times pulling kid and farm duty so I can be gone. My mom takes time away from her home, so she can help manage my home while I am gone. My mother and sister in law often step up to shuttle kids and help with meals. Kids miss Mom and want more time with Dad, causing my husband less time at the farm. My brother and father in-law often are having to fill in while my husband can't be at the farm as often.

My kids are young. They don’t understand I leave to advocate, so they can have a future. They see mom leave and want me to stay. I leave them so I can go tell others the need to protect the farm for my kids. I want them to have opportunities in agriculture just as mu husband and I have had. I want my kids to be able to farm if they wish and have agriculture as the foundation of who they are. I advocate for them. For the next generation of farmers.

Before I leave, my kids and I draw hearts on the palm of our hand. I tell them to hug it whenever they miss Mom. It is the little reminders that Mom is with them. It keeps the tears less frequent and the hugs more often.


My biggest hope is some day, my kids will understand they motivate me to advocate for them. I hope that someday I can say, I helped to keep agriculture strong. I worked my hardest to ensure agriculture had a future. That I was there and I told my story. I let my voice be heard. I had a seat at the table to defend, promote and protect agriculture and the family farm.  

To all those advocates out there. I see you. I see your struggle with life, work, advocacy. I see the pain and stress. I see the ache and hard work. 

It is NOT easy. It is NOT glorious. It IS beneficial. It IS purposeful. It IS effective. 
You are a rockstar and agriculture needs you! 

Until Next Time,
Almond Girl Jenny


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Almond varieties

Did you know there are over 30 different varieties of almonds grown commercially?! All have their own unique purpose, size, and shape. Most almond farmers, have multiple varieties in the same orchard, the most popular being nonpareil. Nonpareil is the prettiest almond, most widely produced and comes with the biggest return back to the grower. But we can't all farm nonpareils, they need to be pollinated somehow. Almonds typically need at least two varieties in an orchard because the almond flower cannot pollinate itself like other fruit trees can. We learned about that with the almond bloom and bee blog!! So we have pollinator varieties that complement other varieties and offer their own unique purpose. I am going to outline a few of the more widely grown varieties for you, but feel free to check out The Almond Board of California's full guide.


Nonpareil has the most uses and purposes of any other nut. It can be used in raw form, blanched, processed or anything you …

Almond by-products

When people think of almond uses they tend to just think of using the almond meat. Almonds have multiple by-products actually. When almonds are processed at the huller the almond meat is separated from the hull and shell. The hulls, shells and hash are also sold and used.

Almond hulls are the green out most layer of the almond while on the tree. The hull is what splits and starts the countdown to harvest. Once the almond has dried in the field, the hull also dries and begins to separate from the almond. At the huller, they remove the hulls and stock pile them until sold. Almond hulls are sold for animal feed, most commonly dairy feed. The hulls actually add nutrition to the animals diet and aid in healthy milk production. Growing up on my family's farm, we used the hulls to feed our breeding sheep. It was cheaper than grain, helped to add nutrition to the animal diet and while filled them up faster.

Almond shells are the hard layer between the hull and the almond meat. …

Modern Agriculture

What is Modern Agriculture?
Modern agriculture could be a scientist in a lab creating the newest impossible non-meat hamburger. Modern agriculture could mean the development of GMO seeds to decrease pesticide use. Modern agriculture could be turning on your irrigation system from an app on your computer. Modern agriculture could just mean the use of GPS in tractors, or maybe just the use of a tractor on a farm. Modern agriculture could mean something different to you depending on how you look at agriculture.






Modern agriculture is essentially developing practices that help farmers increase efficiency and reduce the amount of resources to meet the world's needs. But depending on your interpretation of the term you could already have created your opinion of modern agriculture. 2% of the population is involved in agriculture but 100% of the population has opinions.
That's the situation we face today, consumers tend to develop their own opinions of modern agriculture without unders…