Off-Farm Income


I am an agricultural advocate, and most of the students that I interview on this show are as well.  And, what are we doing as advocates but providing information to people about our industry so that they can make a well-informed buying decision?  Considering the amounts of misinformation about agriculture that exist, I think it is all of our responsibility to participate as advocates in one way or another.

Our guest today, Connie Rogers, takes this to a whole new level.  Connie and her father raise and farrow about 200 sows in Southern Georgia.  Connie is intimately familiar with this business and has been showing pigs since she was in the 2nd grade.  When it came time to choose a supervised agricultural experience for the FFA, raising and showing pigs was a natural fit.

However, Connie recognized that there was more going on than just feeding, showing, and marketing pigs.  She realized that there were people who were afraid to consume pork because they had been told that pigs were fed high levels of antibiotics, and if they were to consume pork from these pigs they would be consuming bacteria that were resistant to antibiotics.  Therefore, if that same bacteria took root in their own body, it would not respond to the medicines that were available.

Connie saw it as a natural fit to add an agriscience research SAE to her workload to study this claim.  She decided to feed two separate batches of pigs - one with antibiotics and one without - and then measure the results.  She wanted to use her finding to provide accurate information to would-be pork consumers.

Connie's efforts in this project have earned her both state and national recognition.  It has also propelled her into college where she is studying agricultural education.  A lot of us are willing to talk about agriculture and the facts of our industry.  Connie went to the length of researching to get the first-hand information that she would share.  That is advocacy!