Intern Update: A Greater Appreciation for Iowa’s Livestock Industry

07-07-2015 in Communications Internship

By Haley Banwart, CSIF Communications Intern

One of my favorite sweatshirts I wore growing up had the following adage printed across the front.

“Farm Girl University: All I Need to Know, I Learned on the Farm”

I have always been proud of my farm background and thankful for the opportunities I was given living in rural Iowa. Later on, I realized though the farm had taught me many things, I had a lot left to learn about Iowa agriculture.

My current internship with the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers has helped me sharpen my communication skills and expand my perception of Iowa ag. Most of all, my internship has allowed me to gain a greater appreciation for Iowa’s livestock industry.

Because I grew up doing chores on my family farm where we raised a little bit of everything, my heart has never really been set on one livestock species. Thanks to this background I have an ambition to learn about all facets of Iowa’s diverse livestock industry. The Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers has been an ideal fit in achieving this goal.

Traveling across the state with the CSIF team has allowed me to grasp just how important livestock is to Iowa’s farm families, rural communities and the economy. By participating in the presentation of the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award and celebrating agriculture at cattle barn open houses, I am reminded of the impact ag has in all 99 counties.

While there is diversity within the livestock industry, I have also recognized the variances of individual Iowa farms. No two farms are managed exactly the same. But it’s the people, the farm families behind the scenes who each have a unique story to share.

As an agricultural communicator, I feel responsible for sharing these stories. I love having the opportunity to write about the successes of Iowa’s livestock industry on behalf of the Coalition. As an avid writer, I have certainly enjoyed interviewing farmers, writing articles and creating content for CSIF’s website and social media outlets.

It is very rewarding to work with a fantastic team that dedicates their time to supporting Iowa’s livestock industry. Considering my own dreams of returning to the farm, it is also fulfilling to know I am playing a small role in ensuring future farming opportunities for my own generation.

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