Telling the soy story

CAFNR alumnus is passionate about being a voice for the agriculture industry through telling Missouri soybean farmers’ stories.

A woman and Truman the Tiger standing in front of the Mizzou football bus.
Photo courtesy of Madelyn Warren.

“Farmers truly are stewards who are investing in the future; even if they don’t have livestock relying on them, they’re still feeding into the planet,” Madelyn Warren said. “We have to bridge the gap between producers and consumers through lighthearted and relatable content. Whether that’s talking about generational farming and raising kids on the farm or sharing in the humor that happens.”

Growing up in Dawn, Missouri, on a dairy goat farm, Warren had a unique and non-traditional path in the agriculture industry. As an invested member of the Chillicothe FFA Chapter, Warren’s genuine interest in production agriculture flourished. During her first year of college in 2017, Warren was a biochemistry major with a dream of becoming a doctor. However, throughout her year of service as a Missouri State FFA vice president, Warren recognized her passion for creating connections and conversing with fellow agriculturalists.

“I discovered I really loved talking to people – policymakers especially,” Warren said. “I decided to switch my degree with hopes of writing about policy and education. So, when I was hired at Missouri Soybeans, it was a perfect fit.”

Thankfully, Warren found her place in the Agricultural Education, Communications, and Leadership degree program at Mizzou. While studying at CAFNR, Warren said she cultivated essential communication and networking skills that remain invaluable to her today. Her enthusiasm for forging connections proved to be an asset during her academic journey, and it continues to serve her well.

“CAFNR felt like a small town; everybody knows everybody,” said Warren. “CAFNR does a great job at emphasizing connections and prepares students to enter into the workforce and feel like they already have and know how to navigate existing relationships.”

Shortly after finishing her bachelor’s degree in 2021, Warren found a job opening as one of two communications coordinators at Missouri Soybeans in Jefferson City, Missouri.

Within her role at Missouri Soybeans, Warren serves directors who cover policy, outreach and education, and market development. Due to the limited size of the communications team at Missouri Soybeans, individuals often take on multiple roles and responsibilities. Warren writes magazine articles and co-manages the social media accounts. Furthermore, she works in video and audio editing, strategic planning for communications campaigns and graphic design.

“Being able to play all those roles, it’s never boring and I’m always excited to learn something new,” Warren said. “I think working with Missouri Soybeans has empowered me to use non-conventional or non-standard practices to communicate for the ag industry. I think that’s been the most eye-opening and beneficial part of this job.”

Warren and the rest of the Missouri Soybeans’ communications team recently released a farmer-facing campaign, “Not Just a Farmer,” that focuses on the non-farming factors of farmers’ lives as a reminder to them to stop minimizing the significant role they play in the food chain and their communities.

“We would contact farmers to interview for other projects and they’d say, ‘You don’t want to talk to me, I’m just a farmer.’ But being a farmer is not nothing, because being a farmer is everything,” said Warren.

Warren’s drive to develop communication strategies to enhance the soybean story, as well as her passion for playing a role and being a voice for rural communities, has driven her success within the agricultural communications sector. She looks forward to future opportunities and experiences and hopes to continue serving soybean farmers through her work within Missouri Soybeans.

“I’m genuinely excited to see where the soybean industry goes,” Warren said. “The innovations it is going to take within the next two years – that our soybean farmers are going to be investing in – are going to be industry changing.”