Ask someone involved in farming and agriculture what is most important to them. Likely, most of those responses will include family. Wanda Quiggins, 4th generation beef and tobacco farm mom, takes a moment to share why she is proud to be a part of Agriculture and why youth involvement and agriculture education is so important. Be sure to check out the rest of my series asking others why they are AgProud.

My husband Tim and I are like so many people in our area, we farm and both work at full-time jobs. Tim is a high school agriculture teacher, and I am manager of a regional campus college bookstore. We both spent our childhoods on the farm, growing tobacco and raising beef cattle, and also leading a few into the show ring as 4-H and FFA members. For almost 25 years we have been raising Chianina influenced cattle on our farm Quiggins Chiangus, and selling bulls and replacement heifers. We have also spent much of that time involved in youth agriculture activities, educating and encouraging youth to be involved in the industry.

Our children, Ashley and Blake, are involved in 4-H and FFA as well as junior breed associations and Kentucky Jr. Cattleman’s Association. Ashley is now in grad school at Texas Tech, and our youngest will be entering high school in the fall. They are both very involved in agriculture, primarily the livestock industry, and have been very active exhibiting livestock on the regional, state, and national levels. As a family we feel the show ring, fairs, youth activities are avenues to educate the public about livestock production and keep youth involved in agriculture. The Kentucky State Fair attracts thousands of non-agricultural visitors and we spend much of our time in the cattle aisle answering questions about animal agriculture.

I’ve heard many people say that farming is not a lifestyle, it’s a business, and I agree with that, however, I believe you must be passionate about the industry and the lifestyle to make it through the many hardships that you encounter. I believe it is important to constantly educate everyone around us about the industry because even though we live in a rural community, few residents are farmers, and in our local elementary school of 200, there’s probably less than 15 kids actively involved with a family farm.

To further educate our youth and promote the industry, we are about to open Burley Fields Livestock Center on our farm near Horse Cave, Kentucky. This facility will be available for production sales for all species, and a venue for youth and open shows, and educational clinics and conferences. We feel it is important to have a modern, regional facility to promote agriculture and livestock production for both youth and adults.

As a 4th generation beef producer, I am agriculture proud to be a very small part of this industry as a family operation working to promote the industry, educate, and inform.

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Be sure to find Wanda on Facebook, Twitter, Her personal blog, and farm blog.

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