Comment Column: Being an Everyday Advocate

Posted on Mar 4, 2021
Kentucky Farm Bureau Second Vice President Sharon Furches

Having lived and worked on the family farm all of my life, there are a couple of things I am sure of. First, I know there is no place I would rather be than on our farm and no place I would have rather raised my family.

The second thing is, I realize that most people don’t live on a farm. And many of them don’t know all we do to ensure our food supply remains the most abundant, safest, and affordable food supply of any country in the world.

Because of that, as a farmer, much of what I do involves advocacy. I find myself helping my urban neighbors understand the art of raising a crop and how we care for our animals.

I explain to them how farm families serve as the original caretakers of the land to ensure generation after generation has fertile soil to sustain their farms and how very important our natural resources are to the existence of farms everywhere.

 I tell them that broadband connectivity is essential in today’s world of advanced technology to run equipment, stay connected to world markets, and operate our on-farm markets.

I help them understand that at certain times of the year they will encounter farm equipment traveling down their rural roads and a little patience and a friendly wave is helpful during these times.

I talk about the efforts we make at Kentucky Farm Bureau to work with our local, state, and national government leaders to support legislation and regulations that are beneficial to agriculture, not just for the sake of the farmer, but for all those who eat.

I describe how international trade affects our industry and how important export dollars are to ag operations large and small.

I tell them how immigration and farm labor reform are connected to the farm since we depend greatly on the system to supply us with the workers we need to produce our crops.

I explain the history of the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund and how it has helped this state become one of the most agriculturally diverse states in the country, something that has helped keep countless farm families on the farm.

I help them understand that so much of the information they read about agriculture, especially on social media, is often misleading and produced by those misinformed about the real truths of our industry.

And finally, I encourage them to take the time to connect with those who raise their food to learn the real facts about how their food is grown.

We are blessed to live in a state where we have so much support for the agriculture industry. We have great commodity groups and government agencies who collaborate daily with our organization. We have legislative members who are also willing to work together with Kentucky Farm Bureau to make sure the ag industry in this state remain sustainable. When we work together, we can achieve so much more.

I hope you all take the time to meet your local farmer, talk to him or her about the wonderful food they raise, and offer a “Thank You” to them for all they do to provide the food, fuel, and fiber we all need.

Sharon Furches, Second Vice President
Kentucky Farm Bureau