About a month ago I got an email inviting me to take part in a National Policy Conference in Washington D.C. As a speaker. For CropLife America. I immediately disregarded it. You see, I tend not to leave the Ranch. In fact, the last time I successfully left the Ranch and the general Chico area for over a night was in 2007.
The reason for my lack of traveling has been anxiety. I suffered from chronic anxiety for several years, traveling was a guaranteed panic attack. But therapy has helped me overcome that obstacle, so it was no longer a valid excuse.
Another reason I don’t like to leave the Ranch is, we’re busy. Like 97% of other American farms and ranches, we are family owned. Leaving my Parents here, while I tra la la in the big city, doesn’t sound like a nice thing to do. But I shared the e-mail about attending the Conference with my Parents, and they said “go, you need to do this”. There goes another valid excuse not to leave.
The more I thought about attending, the more it sounded like a good idea. I love to talk about agriculture. I love policy. I think it is important for farmers and ranchers to tell our story to anyone that will listen. I need to practice what I preach on a grander scale. It’s time for me to move beyond speaking to high school classes and local government groups.
I received another e-mail urging me to respond. I did. The e-mail turned into a phone call, the phone call turned into a decision. I am going to Washington D.C. to talk about Ag policy. I haven’t been to the East Coast since I was 15!
I never imagined that I would ever do something like this. I feel like all my years dedicated to telling my story, talking about agriculture and urging others to do the same is being noticed. I’m excited. And determined to make my supporters (you, reading this) proud.
If you are in the greater DC area during this time, won’t you consider joining this conference? I would love to see some “familiar” faces in the crowd!