Creating an Ag Masterpiece—One Colorful Story at a Time

Our Personal Stories—Related to Agriculture
(guest blog from ISU student Hannah Pagel)

We’ve all heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Each picture tells a story—a journey of one’s life and trials. We all have a story that explains our passions, our interests, and our achievements. These elements create the story of us—just like a picture depicts a story as well. For many of us, that story relates to agriculture.

Few of us have direct ties to a farm—less than 2% of the U.S. population do—but each of us eats food, uses fuel, and wears fiber on a daily basis. All of these things may be small, but when we look at the big picture, we begin to see the connection.
Now you may be wondering what I am trying to get at in this blog. Well last week in my agricultural education class, our first presentation was to talk about our “Ag Story.” It was only supposed to be 2-3 minutes long, and we had to explain how we became involved in agriculture and our future plans in this industry. At first I thought it was going to be hard to talk about myself for 2-3 minutes, but as I was preparing my speech I realized I was having a harder time trying to figure out how I was going to fit it all into that allotted time. This is my “Ag Story.”
Combining Passions
Hi, my name is Hannah Pagel and I have a passion for education, agriculture, and art. My “Ag Story” is to combine them to tell the story of agriculture. I grew up in the rolling hills of Northeast Iowa on a diversified grain and livestock farm. Showing livestock at county fairs is where my passion for agriculture started. Continuing the years in the National FFA Organization allowed me to challenge my leadership skills and push me to pursue a career in agricultural education at Iowa State University. My passion for agriculture runs deep, but I also have a passion for painting. I have combined my passions to tell the story of agriculture. Each painting has its own creative way to tell the story of agriculture or one of my personal stories of the industry. For example, one painting tells the story of the first heifer I ever showed. Another tells the story of my roommate’s grand champion show pig at the Iowa State Fair. It’s just another way to show and tell. So I paint pictures of agriculture, and I do my best to paint a story to go along with them.
It’s crazy how much we can actually talk about our passion. As I gave my presentation and listened to my classmates, I realized something that led me to write this blog. We all have our own unique “Ag Story”—something that pulled us into agriculture, something that ignited a passion—and we all have a vision for this industry. Each vision may be very different from one another, but that is where our own unique story comes into play.
It’s kind of like a painting of an agricultural landscape. In this painting there are many different elements and colors—each come together to make the picture complete. We bring in our own elements and colors to the painting. And when we share those with one another, we are creating a masterpiece—a vision for the future.
Send in Your Part of the Masterpiece
We all do our best to “show and tell for agriculture,” and that’s why I wanted to write this blog. I wanted to share with you my story–but I also want to hear from your side too.
I may use a brush to tell my story, but others tell theirs in different ways—some ride horses, some drive tractors, some fit cattle, some teach ag classes, some plant a garden. There are many ways to tell the story of agriculture—you just have to start sharing. So tell me–what’s your “Ag Story?”
We would love to hear other’s “Ag Stories” and continue to add to this masterpiece by mixing in new colors and perspectives. If you would like to share or would like to be featured on this blog site, send a copy to Include a digital image and a brief bio also. Be a part of the Ag Story Masterpiece. 
by Hannah Pagel

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