Imagine a job where, one day, you’re sitting in the office completing an award application that asks you to detail all of the programs you and your members completed in one year, and the next you’re outside, organizing a lunch and farm tour for one of the legislators in your district. And the next three days are more of the same — completely different, in-the-office, out-of-the-office jobs that require a diverse skill set and energy that can only be compared to that of the Energizer Bunny.
That’s what Danelle Burrs does on a daily basis. Danelle is the first in our series of Faces Behind Your Food.
Danelle, who is the manager of the Lee County Farm Bureau, started with the Illinois Farm Bureau as a county manager trainee in January of 2008. By March of 2008, she had been hired as the Lee County Manager.
So, what does Danelle do and how does it tie back to your food? Well, that’s a question Danelle said she hates to answer because, “There are just so many different things I do, it’s hard to explain!”
In a nutshell, Danelle works with volunteers, helps put on programs for Farm Bureau members in Lee County, such as a trips and tours, puts on programs for the community like consumer outreach activities and educational activities for kids, and even conducts marketing seminars to show her farmer members how to improve their farming operations. Perhaps most important is her work legislative work, supporting legislation that helps farmers optimize their businesses and helping her farmer members connect with their legislators.
And how does that connect to the food you see sitting on your table? Well, said Danelle, that’s simple.
“As a Farm Bureau manager, I’m not actively growing food in our offices,” Danelle said. “But I am providing information to our members and working with elected officials to make it easier for our farmers to do their job and grow our food.”
It’s a pretty hefty job, added Danelle, but it’s not without its rewards.
“One of the best parts of the job is when you know you’ve made a difference,” Danelle said. “Whether that is seeing a consumer have an ‘ah-ha’ moment during a conversation with a farmer, or a Young Leadering seeing the full impact of the organization after attending an event such as the IAA Annual Meeting or Leaders to Washington. It’s great to know that I am helping make a difference.”
Don’t forget to check out Holly’s 30 Days of Agriculturalists Who Influence and all of the awesome bloggers participating. Just head over to Prairie Farmer.
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