True to my word, here I am, telling you about my experience speaking at the ICA Annual Convention. I’m still in shock that people wanted to hear from me and ask questions about what I do. I’m also a little in shock that I am posting twice in one week! Maybe this can become a regular thing….
Tuesday I was part of a panel to speak on different forms of advocacy and just briefly describe the how’s and why’s of doing it. Speaking out about ranching and trying to connect with people is become really important these days. It is easy to become disconnected from the things that keep our world running whether it is knowing where our food is coming from or how the plumbing in our homes work.
While I was there to talk about how I reach out through blogging, there was another woman, Cheyenne Smith, there to speak on how she is apart of the ranching and beef conversation through twitter. I was really impressed how she wants people to care about us as ranchers and as people providing food for families. By sharing the tidbits from her everyday life, she helps people really see what ranching is like. If you are tweeter (is that even a thing?), go find her @JLazySAngus. Not only does she have great insight to ranching, but she has a great network to be a part of.
The other presenter on our panel was Matt Brechwald and how he goes about advocating really impressed me. A little back story… After college, he ended up living and working in the city. Eventually, he realized that he was not happy with where is life was taking him. So, he and his wife found some land that they could relocate to and start their own ranching experience. In order to make ends meet, he used his skills, machinery, and tools from the ranch to create a side job. As he was out working one day, he realized what an awesome thing he had been able to do and how he needed to share that. He started doing podcasts, highlighting his journey to what he was doing and how others could do it too. To find more about his story and his podcasts you can go to his site at www.offincome.com.
It was really a great experience sharing the mic with these people and helping to share the importance of advocacy, why we love it and how others can do it too. I’ll admit, I was so nervous to begin with. And through most of it… In fact, there was one point that the moderator asked me a question and I was in the middle of answering it with one of my stories. And all the sudden I realized I couldn’t remember what I had been saying and couldn’t even remember where I was going with it. Haha… You can laugh at me… I am! Once we were done with our two 25 minute session I was finally relaxed enough that I felt ready to start. Pretty unfortunate that it was all over, huh?
You are probably thinking that I am last person that should be telling other people to get out there blogging because I struggle in this realm myself. I can be inconsistent and unreliable, and that is a hard pill to swallow. But yesterday I realized that what I do have is that I keep coming back to it. This experience may have been more important to me that for anyone else because it reminded me why I do this. And maybe now I have recommitted myself with new a new drive and hope for what I can do here in this space to reach out and advocate for something I believe in so strongly!