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Porch Talk

I recently returned from Albuquerque, New Mexico. My role while there turned out to be quite a pleasure and honor. I served as advisor to an outstanding group of Agvocates from Cal Poly, and we represented our school’s chapter of the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT). Meeting other ACT groups from universites across the country, along with the National Agricultural Communicators of Tommorrow (NACT), our group of eager young people interacted and learned from agriculture business professionals who gathered for the 14th Annual Agricultural Media Summit (AMS).

Through workshops and round-table discussions we gained useful and sometimes humorous career insight. Did you know boss spelled backwards is double S.O.B.? Yep, sure is. And it’s okay to learn what kind of jobs you don’t want to do along with the well-known, but not well-practiced theory that we can’t be or do all things for all people. Another tool of the trade came from writer William deBuys. Paraphrased, the advice he gave was that spending an hour reading a classic novel feeds your mind the same way a salad provides healthy nutrients to your body; and, an hour with People magazine is all right in small doses here and there, much like cheeseburgers and fries!

The last notion brings me to my front porch. An hour spent talking on the front porch has proven time and time again to be far more enjoyable, productive, and insightful than any sitcom, news reel, or social media post. In the last AMS workshop I attended, an older journalist posed the question, “What is social media and technology doing to the family?” Of course time didn’t permit the discussion the questions and responses it deserved, and I’m not going to try to answer directly either.

What I do know, though, is the conversations on the porch, out loud, side by side, have been moments in my young marriage more engaging than those over the phone. My handsome husband travels quite a bit for work, which has led to a greater appreciation for our time together in the same space. In between those times, however, his “Have a good day,” text messages make me smile. And I love sending him goofy hellos or sending photos of the dogs or from the back of my horse.

Molly enjoying the porch talk.

But I’d like to think our nation’s farming and ranching families share plenty of agvocating while sitting on their porches, bowing their heads together at the same dinner table, or sharing a cup of coffee when they make the time. I believe social media has its place, and without it, our Movement and others like it wouldn’t have a platform to share from so proudly.

I hope you get to share stories during porch talk. I hope those that raise livestock, grow crops, and harvest our nation’s bounty get to take a break, if only for a moment, to sit on their porches and share stories.

We all deserve time to do that.



Megan Silcott is I Love Farmers’ Board President. She lives in San Luis Obispo County, California and loves family (which includes her horse and dog), books, and U.S. farmers and ranchers — and a sturdy porch. Megan hopes you share stories wherever and whenever you can. Got a story about what American agriculture means to you? ILF wants to know and encourages you to send the story to anthony@ilovefarmers.org so he may share it.


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