Whether people choose to be aware of it or not, agriculture is something that affects every human being alive today. But with less than 2 percent of the U.S. population farming, the other 98 percent of people in this country are largely removed from the world of agriculture. One way for people to get the message across about the important work being done is agriculture journalism.
Last year, five people from across the country, including Mizzou student Jacqueline Janorschke, a junior in science and agricultural journalism from St. Joseph, Missouri, were awarded a $5,000 scholarship from the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) Foundation, an organization “dedicated to serving the interest of the agricultural community and creating value for its Broadcast member stations and networks,” according to their website.
While she grew up on 100 acres of land and owned a number of chickens, Jacqueline’s family was not exactly an “agriculture family,” she said. However, Jacqueline’s mother had been a member of the National FFA Organization in high school and encouraged Jacqueline’s brother, Justin to join. Although Jacqueline describes her brother during this period as somewhat introverted and quiet, he went on to become the FFA chapter president. Through her brother’s experience in the organization, she saw him get out of his comfort zone and grow as a person, she said, and she realized that “this organization must be pretty neat if they can do that for someone.”
So she decided to join the organization herself, although she was a bit unsure of her place in it at first, having not grown up on a farm like most other FFA members. But despite having little prior experience, being in FFA kick started Jacqueline’s passion for agriculture.
While in FFA, Jacqueline realized that “people didn’t understand agriculture.” So wanting to teach others about its importance in everyday life, as well as wanting to branch out and go to a larger university, Jacqueline decided to attend Mizzou to study science and agricultural journalism. And because she is paying for her own education, it is only due to scholarships such as the ones given out by NAFB that she has been able to attend.
Among her other accomplishments, over the years Jacqueline went on to become a Missouri Farm Bureau ambassador, Missouri FFA Association State Secretary, Missouri FFA Camp Leadership Director, and most recently participated in the Dickinson Scholars Program in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources at the University of Missouri and worked in Washington D.C. with the USDA as a communications intern.
At the moment, Jacqueline is currently working to find her place in communications, as there are many different paths to take within her major.
Yet, her passion remains the same: sharing agriculture’s message with others and letting people know the great amount of opportunities within such an important field.
“There are really awesome jobs that are available in agriculture. That doesn’t mean you’re farming every day and waking up and milking the cows.”
Check out some of Jacqueline’s writing here.