Continuing with this week’s theme, Agriculture is so much more than just farming. Elizabeth Burns Thompson is a law student who has a bright future influencing this country’s law practices. We need more grounded people like her in these professions. This is part of my month-long series highlighting the diversity within Agriculture. Why are YOU Agriculture Proud?

I was born and raised on a small farm in Eastern Iowa; something that looking back was one of the greatest blessings of my life. Growing up in a farming community I developed an understanding and appreciation for the process in which put food onto my table each day. Unfortunately, a majority of the population today has been brought up without any exposure to production agriculture. As a result, many people do not fully understand where their food, fuel, and fiber come from, beyond the supermarket shelves.

I think that just about everyone involved in the agriculture industry will agree that we share a common goal; to educate the populace on how we provide for the greater good. While all agriculturalists play an vital role in that process, my focus and passion lies within agricultural law.

If there is one that is consisted in every industry, it is governmental regulations. However, as the disconnect between production agriculture and consumer goods grows, it is more important than ever that our legislators are properly educated before voting on these issues. By choosing to pursue a degree in agricultural law I aspire to someday be a voice for America’s Farmers and Ranchers in the policy development process.

I firmly believe that we cannot allow individuals to “set the rules” if they don’t understand how to “play the game.” It is critical that we have individuals involved in the legislative process that have an understanding of agricultural processes. With a strong background, education of the law, and passion for the industry, I hope to be a positive advocate for American Agricultural policy.

Elizabeth is a first year law student at Drake University Law School and a 2011 graduate of the Iowa State University Agricultural Business program. She can be found on her blog, Twitter and Facebook.