Running a farm everyday through diverse weather, markets, diseases, rules and regulations, and all the other barriers that farmers face is hard work. Then to raise a family while running that farm is even harder. But my father, Charles Wildman, is my favorite farmer because he did that. Through his commitment to faith, family and farming, he taught me the value of hard work, commitment and personal responsibility. His commitment to raising a family and a farm have enabled me to pursue my passion of helping others share their story of agriculture.
Because he cares about his family and the farm, he got involved in social media and advocacy for ag before it was even cool. Over the years, his interest in advocacy opened doors for me to discover my passion for it as well. Together, we have blogged, tweeted, posted and given tours to thousands of people. We’ve shared the story of our farm and our industry with folks from all over the world, and it’s something we’ve been able to share together.
I am proud of my heritage, growing up as the eighth generation on the farm, and I recognize the pressure you feel when you move away from the farm. It’s hard to be away from my family and the farm, but it’s enabled me to grow and see just how big agriculture really is.
I believe that diversity and independence are agriculture's biggest strengths, and when fostered with proper care, we can work together as ONE agriculture to conquer the challenges of the future. Those challenges are going to require us to be excellent storytellers and we will have to have a caring heart.
While I’m not farming now, I hope that someday soon I can spark a new idea that changes the course of my life and gives me the chance to return to my family’s farm, begin a new business and continue the legacy of my family so that someday, I can be someone’s favorite farmer.
Dad is my favorite farmer because he cares about me. I care about agriculture and the future of it on my family’s farm, and all other family farms across the country. I hope to use my passion for storytelling to strengthen our food system, my family and the future of ag. My father is just ONE of many farmers, and our story is just ONE of many in ag, but when we share our values through our stories and we hope that others can identify with that. If they do, we can transform the entire story around food and agriculture and create ONE BRIGHT FUTURE.
Charles is competing in Alltech’s Favorite Farmer contest. The photo with the most likes on our Facebook page will win a trip to ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference in Lexington, Kentucky. There, the winner will have the opportunity to meet farmers and other agriculture leaders from around the world.
Vote for Charles by liking the photo here.