Janell Baum Thomas knew she wanted to be involved in agriculture from the start. Now an e-content editor for Penton Farm Progress, Janell’s experiences growing up on her family farm planted the seed, but her experience in 4-H and as an Illinois Association FFA State Officer made it a no-brainer.
“FFA gives you training in a lot of different career paths and because you do a lot of public speaking, it’s all very consumer-facing,” Janell said. “My experience in FFA helped me realize that there were a lot of opportunities in agriculture communications and being an agricultural writer was just one of them. Plus, I could work from home, and be closer to my family.”
As an e-content editor, Janell writes national news for Farm Progress websites, and Farm Futures and Beef Producers websites. For Janell, working as an agricultural writer means she has the opportunity to help farmers make the best financial decisions for their individual operations.
“Farmers are constantly looking for the latest technology and information to help them properly market their crops,” Janell said. “We cover a lot of conservation topics and new technologies — basically, they’re looking for innovative ways of doing things that decrease inputs and the number of passes across fields. By writing for Farm Progress, I help farmers farm safely and efficiently. And when someone emails me and says an article I wrote was helpful, that’s extremely rewarding.”
In the end, Janell said it’s important for consumers to remember everyone relies on a safe food supply, including farmers.
“Farmers are consumers, too,” Janell said. “Everything that they are raising, they eat, too. And the land and animals are important to them because if they are good the land and animals, the land and animals will be good to them. They’re always looking for ways to do things better that’s why we have these ag magazines. As writers for the ag industry, we realize how important the food supply is to everyone and that’s part of what makes our job worth it. Making information available to farmers will ultimately help the consumer.”
Don’t forget to check out all the awesome blogs happening this month over at Prairie Farmer.
For the full Faces Behind Your Food Series, check out the links below:
- Intro: 30 Days
- Day 1: Managing…everything
- Day 2: Building Relationships
- Day 3: 50/50
- Day 4: Irons in the Fire
- Day 5: Loaded Up and Trucking
- Day 6: Variety is the Spice of Life
- Day 7: Beef. It’s what’s for dinner.
- Day 8: You have got to start somewhere.
- Day 9: The earth that calls me.
- Day 10: Teaching changes the way I look at things at home.
- Day 11: A Family Affair
- Day 12: Diversification.
- Day 13: Bigger is Better
- Day 14: Working for the Weekend
- Day 15: Three Generations of Pauling Brothers
- Day 16: “Quality and consistency is what makes us great.”
- Day 17: Community Supported Agriculture
- Day 18: “We wouldn’t sell something to our customers that we wouldn’t eat ourselves.”
- Day 19: The kitchen table is still the board room.
- Day 20: It all starts with a seed.
- Day 21: 24/7
- Day 22: Heart and Soul
- Day 23: More than Food, Feed and Fuel
- Day 24: “Farmers are technologically advanced.”
- Day 25: Thank God for the farmer.
- Day 26: Farm Business Farm Management
- Day 27: 70 Years of Dairy