Carla Wardin is a busy mother of three boys and a 6th generation dairy farmer with her husband in Michigan. She’s also one of the Faces of Farming and Ranching for the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA).
“I really enjoy speaking with consumers and other people in agriculture about the issues in farming today,” Carla says. “The part I like best is the people.”
Carla blogs about her life on the farm, and enjoys going into schools to teach about farming and giving tours. “Because I’m so easily reachable, people will text me or email me or send me questions,” she says. “Anything they have questions about, they know they have a farmer they can reach.”
Carla is one of the second class of USFRA Faces and right now a search is on for the next crop of “spokesfarmers” to represent the industry. “It really does allow you to reach more people,” said Carla. “Through USFRA, they are literally giving a face to farmers and through that I feel that I am able to reach people who want to talk to a real farmer.”
Because the Faces program is so diverse and includes farmers and ranchers of all kinds of commodities and various areas of the country, Carla says it provides a broad view of the agriculture industry. “Because you are often the only farmer that someone knows, they’ll ask you about everything,” she said. “You can always say I know the person I can give you to who knows the information you’re looking for.”
Interested farmers and ranchers can apply for the program online by July 10, 2016 and will need to include a home video of less than three minutes describing themselves and their farm or ranch. Among other criteria, farmers and ranchers must have an existing social media presence, either through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and/or a blog. A combination of public voting and USFRA judging scores will be used to determine the winners, who will be announced on November 9 at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting Convention (NAFB) in Kansas City.
Learn more about Carla and being a USFRA Faces of Farming and Ranching here: Interview with Carla Wardin, USFRA Faces of Farming