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Taking a Challenge by the Horns

Maryland woman educates as Ms. Agvocate USA

July 2024

Lindsey Jacobs of Anne Arundel County, Md., is Ms. Agvocate USA 2024. (Photo by Sean Clougherty)

by Sean Clougherty, Delmarva Farmer

Growing up on a farm in a predominantly suburban part of Anne Arundel County, Md., Lindsey Jacobs often got many questions from the public when showing her Hereford beef cattle.

It helped form her sense of advocacy for the industry, which she is now embarking on more formally as Ms. Agvocate USA 2024.

The Miss Agvocate USA program was launched in 2023 to help young women promote the farming industry. According to its website, 14 “agvocacy” titles range from young child to adult. Jacobs took on her new role as Ms. Agvocate USA 2024 in March. She is now working to interact with the public as much as possible to share her story in person and through social media.

Jacobs says she’s been in contact with the popular Maryland Public Television program, “Maryland Farm and Harvest,” about possibly being featured in an upcoming episode. She hopes to connect with more groups and events to better inform the public about Maryland farming.

“I spent April and May emailing everyone I could possibly think of, and now things are just starting to come together,” she says.

Jacobs graduated from the University of Maryland in 2020 with a degree in agriculture and natural resource economics and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in food service and biosecurity at Virginia Tech.

Her family’s Church View Farm grew multiple crops in the early 1900s. However, it didn’t start breeding registered Polled Hereford cattle until the 1960s while maintaining about 400 acres of hay and pastureland. Jacobs’ grandfather, William E. Baldwin III; mother, Tara; and brother, Anthony, keep the operation going. “We’re a farm surrounded by suburbia and a half,” Jacobs laughs.

As a livestock exhibitor going to county and state fairs, Jacobs says she’s gotten many “mind-blowing” questions and comments about her animals from the public.

One that stands out in particular to her was from a fairgoer who insisted Jacobs’ cows were not beef cattle because they had udders, which the fairgoer claimed beef animals don’t have.

“We’ve had some experiences,” she says, “It all comes down to basic education and public awareness.”

As one of the few farm kids in her school growing up, Jacobs says she always educated her classmates when they were curious about livestock farming. “I was kind of always doing it anyway and not really thinking about it,” she says of her early advocacy. “Now I get to educate more people than ever.”

This article comes from The Delmarva Farmer, an agricultural newspaper for the mid-Atlantic region.