When Opportunity Knocks, Passion Responds

19-May-2017

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Haley Banwart | Assistant Field Specialist

1-800-932-2436 hbanwart@supportfarmers.com

By Emma Wilson, CSIF Communications Intern 

As a true born and raised Iowan, this quote has always spoke to me:

State of Iowa Slogan: Fields of Opportunities

Growing up on the family farm, also known as my little slice of heaven, agriculture was and still is my whole world. From showing animals at fairs to selling sweet corn in town in the summers, I took every opportunity the farm awarded me. Yet what I didn’t know is that with each opportunity my passion, love and adoration for agriculture would grow stronger and stronger. 

Iowa State University was my dream college and I knew it was my opportunity to find my place in agriculture. The past three years there have only intensified my passion, but surprisingly I seemed to develop another joy: writing.

Now a double major in agriculture communications and journalism, Iowa State has helped me envision my dream career that is constantly in the works. I’ve always been a dreamer but what I’ve learned is that I’m also a doer, always chasing after the next opportunity that comes my way. I’m never bored as I’m always full of ideas and projects that can be created, most out of opportunities, and I know the level of their success comes from passion.

When the opportunity arose for a communications internship with the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers, I couldn’t pass it up! Since starting part-time in January, and full time for the past week, I’ve been immersed within many aspects of Iowa agriculture I hadn’t seen on the family farm.

One of the most important things I’ve learned thus far with the Coalition, is the agriculture industry is constantly growing and changing in many exciting ways. From advances in technology to animal husbandry, the Coalition is a valuable resource for enabling livestock farmers to strive for success with these changes.

I’ve had the opportunity to attend two Good Farm Neighbor Award events, presented by the Coalition. This award recognizes farmers who exemplify exceptional farming practices while being positive members in their local communities. I found these events to be rewarding for me in meeting and connecting with these impressive farmers on a personal level while also serving as a voice for them and their farm families. (Not to mention the amazing food catered at each event!)

Another opportunity I was able to experience my first full week was when the team and I visited Frazier Nursery. This visit consisted of planning for the summer workshop as well as interviewing the owners for a feature story I’m excited to create. The visit was beneficial in learning how CSIF partners, such as Frazier’s Nursery, value the organization in helping them succeed. One of the key things that spoke to me on how partners feel about the Coalition was this quote by John Frazier, “CSIF has information that needs to get out there and we want to take advantage of that and tap into their following to provide farmers with the resources and knowledge they need to be successful.”

I’m thrilled to spend my summer with the great staff making up the CSIF team. Being a farmer’s daughter, I have a love for learning and growing to be successful in my future agricultural career. One of the realizations I’ve had so far is the team not only supports Iowa farmers but will support and mentor me as I immerse myself in new opportunities to let my passion shine.