Why I Farm Roadtrip blogger visits Virginia farmers

news-mouseNatalina Sents, a recent agricultural business graduate from Iowa State University, has embarked on a year-long trip to learn about why farmers farm in all 50 states. Virginia is the 10th state she has visited.

Sents is a former marketing intern for Beck’s Hybrids, the largest family-owned retail seed company in the United States and sponsor of the Why I Farm Movement. She approached the company in December 2015 to tell them about the travel-and-blogging project she had brainstormed for two years. Beck’s was immediately on board.

“Beck’s Hybrids only markets their product in a few Midwestern states, and I think it is amazing they are helping me share farm stories from across the country, even though there is no advantage for them,” Sents said.

She started the Why I Farm Roadtrip on May 15 and plans to meet farmers in all 50 states by May 30, 2017.

While in Virginia in late June, she met with M.L. Everett Jr., co-owner of Everett Farms Inc. in Southampton County and a member of the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation board of directors. Everett introduced her to two Southeast Virginia signature crops: cotton and peanuts.

“She seemed very interested in learning about the whole process of growing peanuts and what we do with them once they are harvested,” Everett said. “All farmers have individual stories about why we farm and what inspires us to do that for a living.

“What she is doing is so great. It is always good to see someone from the outside come in with an interest to use our words to share agriculture’s story. Hopefully non-ag people will follow her trip and read all of the stories about why we farm.”

Sents said she has been “overwhelmed” by famers’ hospitality. “I walk on a farm as a total stranger, and I cannot think of any other industry that would be so welcoming. It has also been very interesting to see the different roles various agriculture organizations play in each state.”

To keep up with the Why I Farm Roadtrip visit whyifarm.com or Sents’ personal blog, Roots Journey, at therootsjourney.blogspot.com.

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