Monday, 5 March 2012

"Why I Dairy Advocate" Mini-Series Part 1: Dairy Advocacy Starts at Home

By: Edward Rusenstrom 

During the past few months I have been putting some thoughts together on what is my inspiration to be an active dairy advocate.... and every thing points to home.  I have the great privilege to work side by side with my family operating our dairy farm.  Years ago I can remember my grandfather getting emotional one hot, sunny afternoon when three generations of Rusenstrom’s were all hard at work bringing in the hay.  

In recent months, my father has been courageously battling cancer and it has been during this time that I have realized how special it is working with family on a day-to-day basis.  My sons would wait impatiently for Grandpa’s tractor rides every morning as he prepared the cows feed for the day. There is no better source of pride than watching children growing up caring for the animals and being involved with the farm at a young age. I’m certain my father had the same feelings years ago when my brothers, sister and I were doing the same!

This is where advocacy comes in.  It is important to spread the word as a dairy farmer, about the great benefits that the dairy industry has on your family, because this spreads into your respective community.  Across North America, we see dairy farmers as active leaders involved within their communities.   

The group in the last picture is the Class 7 of YDLI (Young Dairy Leaders Institute)- a program that myself and the other founders of CD-AG had the honour to participate in. These individuals are some of the most inspiring dairy leaders I have had the pleasure to work with.

I am a proud third generation dairy farmer; I hope one day my kids will be saying the same thing.  I am very fortunate to be where I am today, and it all started at HOME... And that is why I choose to be a dairy advocate.

                                           YDLI Class 7 Dairy Advocates

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