It was one of those “ah ha!” moments. I had scrolled past countless posts on social media that were demeaning and completely untrue about agriculture in general and agriculturist. I had seen too many posts about farming being “easy,” and farmers being “useless.” I decided I was going to make a difference. I come from the small town of Jay Oklahoma. The town might be small but the personalities of those in the community are larger than life. Being a small town girl I was determined to change the way others see agriculture. I had just graduated from NEO and was headed to OSU to finish my bachelor’s degree. I didn’t have a well-known name, a big budget, or anyone telling me how to do the impossible. I had a lot of drive, and a passion for agriculture.
I decided to start a blog. What to call the blog was something that just popped in my head. Growing up on a farm, I would sometimes come into the house and forget to close the door behind me. I would always hear someone from my family say, “Were you raised in a barn?” That saying always stuck with me, and I knew that was the perfect fit for this blog.
I had no idea that Raised in a Barn would grow so big in such a short amount of time. I had caught the attention of some of my favorite organizations, clothing companies, and agriculture websites. Before I knew it Raised in a Barn was being shared by the National 4-H, and I was receiving countless emails from FFA, 4-H, and Grange members about how they could AGvocate.
The support from fans of Raised in a Barn was great, but the hate was sometimes unbearable. One of my blogs had caught the attention of some animal rights activists. Within minutes of the post being shared to their site I had received countless emails and messages. They were demeaning, rude, vulgar, and anything but compassionate. I almost deleted Raised in a Barn. I can’t tell you how many times I almost clicked the delete button and erased everything.
Being only 20 years old, I had no clue how to deal with any of it. It took me awhile to figure out how to AGvocate, and how to do it the right way. It’s been over one year now since the start of Raised in a Barn. Through the growth I have been able to create a team of young AGvocates from around the United States, to join me on my mission to bridge the gap between producer and consumer. There are now over 20 members on the Raised in a Barn Team, from high school to college.
You will notice our mission statement of “Educating, Growing, and Inspiring.” We strive to educate those around us about how vital agriculture is. We want to grow others interest in joining organizations like FFA, 4-H, Grange, or to consider pursuing a job in the agriculture field. If anything though, we want to inspire you. Our page is filled with amazing people who have overcame some difficult challenges. You will see heartbreaking stories, but you will see communities pulling together during those hard times.
Through the difficult and good times, we are all proud to have been Raised in a Barn.
Like Raised in a Barn on Facebook. Twitter/Instagram/Snapchat at raisedbarn. Pinterest @inabarn.
Breanna Viles, Creator of Raised in a Barn. Oklahoma.