Article and photos by Katie Imhoff, 2018 Public Affairs Intern
There is a Buzz About Janorschke
Missouri Farm Bureau Ambassador Jacqueline Janorschke’s unconventional entry into the agriculture industry makes her a unique advocate.
When speaking to Jacqueline, one would never guess that she had no direct connection to production agriculture growing up. She says she is “part of the 98 percent of Americans removed from everyday agriculture,” and is thankful that her local FFA chapter provided her a chance to become involved in the industry.
The National FFA Organization requires every student to participate in a Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) project. The project teaches students responsibility through ownership. Knowing that her project couldn’t take up acres, she settled on raising the smallest livestock she could find — honeybees! With her family’s support and a helpful scholarship from the Midwestern Beekeeper’s Association, Jacqueline’s small honeybee operation began. As she acquired more hives, she decided to start selling high-quality honey and beeswax products under the company name Beauty and the Bees.
Little did Jacqueline know that this small project would spark a passion for taking on new experiences and sharing knowledge with others. She took a small step in sharing her passion for pollinators by competing in a local FFA speaking contest. When the speech landed her a trip to the National FFA Convention, she knew she was ready for more involvement and later took on a leadership role as Missouri State FFA Secretary. As a state FFA officer, Jacqueline used her experiences as a way to connect with FFA members who are not directly involved in production agriculture.
Although FFA members in the state draw inspiration from Jacqueline’s story, her focus is often on telling others’ stories. Now a junior at the University of Missouri, Jacqueline is majoring in science and agricultural journalism to better communicate stories of agriculturalists as a career. She puts her education and passion to work on campus by sharing her first-hand experiences in agriculture with those who may be further removed from the industry than she once was. She cites her experience as a member of the diverse organization, Pi Beta Phi women’s fraternity, as a prime example of advocacy in action. “I am thankful for opportunities within agriculture and outside of agriculture that allow me to advocate,” she says.
Further proof that she loves learning can be found in Jacqueline’s studies for two minors, one in agricultural economics and another in agricultural education and leadership. With such a thirst for knowledge, it is no surprise that agricultural policy has piqued her interest and in turn led her to compete for Missouri Farm Bureau Ambassador.
Now, her year of service as an ambassador nearly complete, she sees the benefits of participating in the Ambassador Program. “Throughout this experience I have learned the importance of doing great research and seeking out reliable sources,” she says. “This is something that I greatly value about Farm Bureau.” She is confident that her experiences will serve her well in a future career.
Jacqueline is excited to continue to be involved in the agriculture industry and Farm Bureau. She sums up her ambassador experience in one statement:
“Missouri Farm Bureau is a family.”
Ebbesmeyer One of Many Voices for Agriculture
Missouri Farm Bureau Ambassador Charlie Ebbesmeyer recognizes the importance of each voice that speaks for agriculture.
The Howard County native grew up on a family farm. While the Ebbesmeyers raise both bobwhite quail and beef cattle, Charlie also has a passion for plants. As a high school student he worked for a local farmer and helped plant and harvest corn, soybeans, wheat and hay. Now a senior at the University of Missouri, Charlie is pursuing a degree in plant sciences with hopes of becoming involved in agronomy and crop scouting.
This summer, Charlie built upon his diverse background in agriculture while interning with MFA, Inc. “Growing up on a farm and interning with MFA gives me the base of knowledge I need to continue to learn and grow in agriculture,” Charlie says as he looks forward to the next step in his agricultural journey, a career in the industry.
While interning for MFA, he scouted crops throughout the state and visited with farmers on a daily basis. Charlie can connect well with others involved in production agriculture because, as he puts it, he’s lived it. “I understand first-hand what farmers go through from planting through harvest. I’ve been through the hardships, the good years, the bad years, and everything in between,” he says.
Simultaneously experiencing work on his family farm, an internship that allows him to connect with farmers and a year of service as a MOFB Ambassador has opened Charlie’s eyes to the importance of each and every person involved in agriculture. He has seen a number of examples this year, and one relates to weather. “It’s so interesting to see how lack of rain affects each farmer’s crop yield which affects what is happening in Washington, D.C. Then what happens in Washington trickles right back down to the farmers,” he says.
It is the grassroots structure of MOFB that drew Charlie to the organization. “I appreciate that Missouri Farm Bureau pushes for policy that will allow farmers to do what they do best — produce our food. It is so interesting to go to Washington and see how Farm Bureau takes what they’ve heard from farmers and puts action behind their words.”
Charlie visited Washington for the first time in March when he traveled with MOFB on an annual legislative trip. The opportunity to take his knowledge about what Missouri farmers truly need legislatively and create a conversation with policymakers about those needs was a new experience for Charlie. It was then that he realized his voice could make a difference for agriculture.
“The most important thing I’ve learned throughout my ambassador experience is understanding that my voice and my story can affect other people and even national policy,” Charlie explains.
Eager to continue to share his experiences and learn from others, Charlie looks forward to staying involved.
“Farm Bureau has a lifelong member in me.”