Futures Market

Trailblazing my own career: being a freelance agriculture writer

I think a career update calls for a new headshot, no?

Today marks a pretty big day for the Herdbook Ag Media, making it one of the few very good ones that happened in the Year of Our Lord 2020. This marks the beginning of my first week as a full-time freelance agriculture writer and communications specialist on one income. That’s right, I have cut the umbilical cord and am swimming in open water without another part-time safety net to keep me afloat.

It’s been quite the wild ride since I walked out of Ohio Stadium, diploma nestled gently under my arm, into the untamed agribusiness workforce.

Blazing one’s own trail through the ag world as we know it is not for the faint of heart. That’s just it – ag, especially when it comes to novel career paths like that of a freelance agriculture writer – isn’t the most well-suited for trailblazers. The opportunity is there of course, but finding and making a custom career, especially when you don’t have a “traditional” background in these industries can be…intimidating to say the very least.

I’m grateful for the time I’ve done working directly within the industries, dairy in particular, I truly am. But even while working for employers college-age me had looked at with starry eyes, I realized very quickly I wasn’t on the career path my intuition longed for.

Yes, I worked in and for an industry I loved. Yes, I was doing what I was technically quite good at. But there was always a caveat. I wasn’t being used to my fullest potential. Lack of opportunities. Promises made and not kept. Not to mention, the corporate ag world has all the shortcomings of the mainstream, including lack of professional leadership and development. But that is a discussion for another time.

All in all, I wasn’t free to share all the talents with the industries I so loved. I started off as a freelance agriculture writer three years ago as my side hustle, but never imagined someday I’d have the guts and capabilities to turn it into my full-time gig.

And yet, here I am. It’s an amazing thing, as one thing led to another and suddenly I’m the CEO of a life I did not believe was possible. Yet, if I had been born into the mainstream agribusiness gig this may very well never have happened, I’d have never had the opportunity to create a world of my own from scratch. Guess I did get the luck of the draw after all, it just took me a few years in the post-college world to realize it.

And yes, there’s plenty of work yet to be done, the journey to a successful self-employed business is only in its infancy. I’m still very much building myself up and learning from my mistakes, but its a journey I am so thrilled to share with each and every one of you herdmates!

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