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Angus Productions Inc.
Copyright © 2013
Angus Productions Inc.

Preparing for the Future

Founder of 'I Love Farmers; They Feed My Soul' movement shares how the program initiates discussion.



by Kasey Brown, associate editor


ALBANY, N.Y. (August 28, 2013) - "Farming without economic incentive is gardening. Gardening won't feed the world," said Scott Vernon, professor of agricultural communications at Cal Poly-San Louis Obispo and founder of the “I Love Farmers; They Feed My Soul” movement. “We need science to tackle this task.”


Vernon spoke Aug. 28 to more than 220 participants of the 2013 National Angus Conference & Tour in Albany, N.Y.


There are challenges to agriculture that will require change, said Vernon, adding that change often starts on the edges of the country and works its way to the center. To anticipate the future, he suggested staying abreast of issues on the coasts.


We live in an age that is constantly changing, he noted, pointing to the explosion in digital technology. Older generations are "digital immigrants," he explained, while younger generations are "digital natives."


Vernon emphasized that agriculture must invest in its youth. He said agriculture does a great job of teaching integrity, work ethic and the pursuit of excellence. However, today’s youth must be prepared for jobs that don't even exist yet, because the digital era has generated a paradigm shift. 


Agriculture has been the brightest spot in the declining economy, Vernon said, citing a study that indicated there are more than 50,000 jobs available in the ag industry and only 29,300 graduates from agricultural colleges. There are more options in agriculture involving business and management, science, and environment. That attracts employees without an ag background, too. Vernon said a background in agriculture isn't necessarily the most important quality of a job applicant. Rather, he said, most important is a willingness to learn.


It is this willingness to learn that sparked the creation of “I Love Farmers; They Feed My Soul” (ILF). Targeting urban youth 14-24 years old, the movement seeks to initiate conversations about agriculture. The group celebrates choice in food.


Ag opponents tend to use emotion in their arguments, Vernon said. Responses based on logic and science don't resonate successfully. The ILF movement opens conversations with "pennies and passion." More information can be found at


Editor’s Note: This article was written by staff or under contract for the Angus Journal®, formally known as Angus Productions Inc. (API). It may not be reprinted without the express permission of API. If you would like to reprint or repost this article, request permission by contacting the editor at 816-383-5200; 3201 Frederick Ave., Saint Joseph, MO 64506. API claims copyright to this website as presented. We welcome educational venues and cattlemen to link to this site as a service to their audience.









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