By Pamela Lucht

What are you reading these days? Does anyone else miss the days when someone might just send a newspaper clipping they thought you might find special?

These days it seems like there’s an unending pile of newspaper articles, magazine or journal pieces, online blogs or shared links to check out. In spite of the overwhelming number of things to read, I try to carve out some time to catch up every now and then.

So, here’s another recommendation to add to your “pile”! It is from the April issue of Costco’s member magazine, and was the cover story nonetheless: “Food 2.0: When Technology and Farming Converge.” Now, since Costco’s membership magazine aims for audience of suburban consumers, the technology at the four farms and greenhouses in the article might not be revolutionary for someone familiar with agriculture embracing technology. Even so, it was still worthwhile! I got to see how another business was handling the questions people have about their food.

For most of the people I know, life can get pretty busy between balancing business with family and “extracurriculars” whether that looks like hobbies, outdoor activities, or volunteer service. We don’t always have time to look around to see what else is going on around us.

We can miss out on a lot of things when we’re trying to get by day-to-day!

If it seems like we don’t have enough time and attention to spare for hearing other people’s stories, maybe it’s time to look at it a different way: if we listen to what other people are thinking and doing, we might find that we aren’t so alone in our shared mission and values.

Have you ever heard that old saying, “Many hands make light work”?

Telling stories can be a lot of work, and it can feel overwhelming to imagine that you or your family should add “Tell the story of farming in America!” to the to-do list that never seems to end around your farm or ranch. We hear all the time how consumers need to hear more about the people behind the food, but sometimes it isn’t too clear how we can accomplish that.

Well, for one, take five minutes while you’re enjoying your coffee in the morning or that half-sandwich you saved for later, and pull up that newspaper article, magazine piece, or website you’ve been meaning to read over. Allow yourself a moment to find the other hands out there that are making the work of agricultural outreach a little lighter already.

Now that you realize you don’t have to tell the story of all agriculture in America, or even all of Oregon, I don’t want you to feel discouraged that someone beat you to the punch or just relieved that maybe your voice isn’t needed now. Your own story is valuable to Oregon agriculture, and I hope you’ll read Mallory Phelan’s Executive Notes: Social Media Can Be A Team Effort to learn about how Oregon Aglink wants to help you do just that.

As the current president of Oregon Aglink, I hope I’ll get a chance to meet more of you and hear the stories that show the hard-working and innovative spirit of agriculture in Oregon!