Relentlessly Informing The Public On Agricultural Practices
⋅ BY CASSIDY NEMEC ⋅
Krista Huss never expected she would be sharing the story of agriculture to all who would listen. Upon marrying a fourth-generation farmer, Matt Huss, that would all soon change.
The Husses farm cotton, corn, soybeans and wheat and raise goats as well. The main farm was established in 1921, and they have been in the area of Lincolnton, North Carolina, they are in now for almost 40 years.
From Detest To Devotion
Krista recounted her journey from being skeptical of the industry to now wanting to share the goodness it brings to everyone she can.
“I started out on the farm with no role whatsoever and hating agriculture, but my heart just softened over the years,” Huss said. “Now I do everything from picking up spare parts, bringing meals, running equipment and taking care of the goats.”
She said during harvest, she will often be over at the module builder and following behind everyone from field to field.
“You have to be flexible because, with what I’m doing, it could change in five minutes.”
The Social Media Impact
Huss said her inspiration for sharing on social media was simply friends who loved her content and wanted to see more. She mainly uses Instagram to bring agriculture to the forefront and admires people like Meredith Bernard, Kelly Griggs and Natalie Kovarick who also all work to tell their stories and make their mark on the industry.
“About the time I started getting serious with Instagram two years ago was when reels became popular, so I thought reels would be a good way to combine comedy and education together and make it something fun that could reach a lot of people,” she said.
Huss said one of the major pros for social media is the amount of people she is able to reach. “I have so many friends from non-cotton-growing states who just love learning all they can about cotton, so I’m able to educate friends.”
She added the ease of it as being convenient so she can post whenever and wherever. Relationships are a big plus for Huss when it comes to social media as she has been able to meet many people and make one of her closest friends through Instagram.
Feeling overwhelmed and pressured when people may mean well and want to know what is happening all the time are a couple of cons she discussed. “It’s sweet, but it can be overwhelming to feel the pressure and expectations.”
On the flip side, Huss enjoys the everyday interactions she gets to have with others through her platform. “I try to do my best to respond to all messages. I feel like direct messaging is a way to interact one-on-one with somebody, and sometimes I’ll even do the voice memo if I have a lot to say — somebody from a different part of the state or country loves listening to my accent.”
She said it is all a chance to make a connection and educate.
As with most social media cons comes the sour side of putting yourself out there for everyone to see.
“Because you expose yourself to so many people, not all of them are going to be welcoming. There is going to be negativity, which I can handle — if you have a different opinion than me, that’s fine — but you don’t have to degrade me and attack me.”
Goals In Education
Huss has goals for herself in sharing more about agriculture. She is currently working to obtain her Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Business and getting certified to teach in North Carolina while she continues to work. She has seen first-hand the need for education in this field.
“People who aren’t in ag have no idea of all that goes on,” Huss said. “I love to educate. My heart is in education.”
She recounted some of her recent experiences speaking to fourth and fifth graders about cotton at some local schools.
“I was absolutely blown away at the lack of knowledge these kids had. I actually brought in a stalk of cotton and gave some of the cotton picked out of the bolls to some of the kids. One of the first kids looked at it, picked it up and popped it in his mouth. He thought because it grew in a field, that meant it was food,” she said.
“That just really opened my eyes to the lack of knowledge there is, and we as farmers in this generation — if we don’t take the time to educate this next generation, who’s going to do it?”
Huss emphasized the role misinformation plays in abundance throughout society.
“Kids nowadays hear stuff from parents or on the news — lies about ag — and if we don’t get out there as farmers and one, defend ourselves, but two, share our knowledge and educate them, then it’s just going to get worse.”
She said she encourages farmers to share, even if it means just going to a local town hall meeting to share with other locals. “I don’t think people realize how important sharing our story in ag is because people don’t know.”
Huss said she wants to bring honesty to the agricultural industry in this realm.
“There’s so much that goes on in agriculture that people have wrong beliefs about, and I hope through honestly sharing my life — the good, the bad, the ugly — to use that honesty to educate people and share our life and the way we do what we do.”
Huss finds it important to share the education farmers have as well. “People think, ‘Oh, just dumb farmers pouring a bunch of chemicals,’ but it’s not. We know what crop this can go on, we know whether it’s going to kill your bees, we actually keep track of bee registries around here, and the public doesn’t realize that we are educated and not out to harm them.”
She said she believes not necessarily in changing people’s minds but rather in providing them with all the information before they make a decision. She emphasized that her goals are not in the followers.
“I don’t do it for the numbers. I do it because my heart is in it and because there’s just a lack of knowledge from the general public,” she said. “If I have the chance to educate five people, that’s fabulous.”
Overall, Huss wants to be transparent and informative when it comes to the industry. “I want to use my honest life experience to share our little part of agriculture to a community who isn’t fully aware of all ag has to offer.”