Thursday, November 13, 2014

Faces of Farming & Ranching - exciting!

I'm thrilled to announce ... I've been selected as the Face of Farming & Ranching! A MILLION thanks to everyone who voted! For the next year, I’ll be speaking about farming around the country. Right now I’m in Kansas, where they announced the winners at the National Association of Farm Broadcasters convention.

Thank you so, so much for all the support.  I’ll do my best to represent our fantastic community, state, and industry!

The entire process started with an application, essay questions, and a video.  Through that they chose the eight finalists.  Then the film crew came and recorded a video.  We then had a 30-minute phone interview with U S Farmers & Ranchers Alliance staff and the Faces of Farming & Ranching from last year.  After that, the online vote ... and then the phone call!  They wanted to be able to make the announcement themselves, so they instructed us to keep the news confidential until after the press conference here yesterday.  (It was a difficult secret to keep, so thank goodness I didn't have to keep it for long.)

Yesterday I met the other four Faces - Erin Brenneman, a pig farmer from Iowa, Darrell Glaser, a turkey farmer from Texas, Jay Hill, a crop and cattle farmer from New Mexico, and Thomas Titus, a pig farmer from Illinois - and they were all so great to talk with and so fun.  We had a day of media training, where we practiced our skills, and then the press conference.  We all spoke, did some Q & A, and then had about six individual interviews each.  (It was the most I've talked in one day since ... possibly ever.)

Some spouses and my sister were able to come, plus two staff members, and we all went out to dinner together and talked (surprise!) farming - with a lot of laughing.  They're just a great group of people.          

Thanks again for all of your support.  I'm so excited to be doing this for the next year, and I'm so honored to be selected. 

So that brings us to today ... I'm back in school!  My sister Tracy is a middle school teacher here in Kansas, and I'm teaching a dairy lesson in all her classes today.  She's got them prepped - they've read two articles about dairy, and their assignment was to check the code on their milk gallons.  I'm ready for questions about milk, cows, and whatever else seventh grade boys are interested in.  I've got a good lead ... I do live on a farm with 400 females. 

Want to know more about the farm?  You can like the page on Facebook, follow me on Twitter@carlashelley, or sign up to get the blog by good old, old-fashioned email - the form is on the right side of the page.

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