By Justin Green

Growing up in rural Texas, farmers and ranchers have always had a style that’s all their own.

Dusty jeans, worn boots and a sweat-stained hat. They meet for early morning coffee shop talk of weather and markets. Drive away in pickups with their Hooves & Horns calendar stuck to the dash, ready to tackle their never-ending to-do list.

They’re the “typical” farmer and rancher. One that’s often a character in Larry McMurtry’s stories.

Then the millennials came.

Wearing oversized flannel shirts and khaki shorts, they made it hip to learn about food.

They, like you, have questions about biotechnology, animal welfare and farming practices. Eager to fill a growing appetite for food and knowledge, we’ve seen an increase in small farms and gardens.

It’s farming. Just on a smaller scale.

And it’s changing the face of agriculture. Adding diversity, young faces and fresh minds.

Are you a business woman at the grocery store reading labels? A dad organizing a neighborhood garden? A high school student planting a new variety of squash in your school’s greenhouse? Visiting a farmers market on the weekend?

All of you and more are agriculturalists. With a modern spin, of course.

You might not have mud on your boots and you might not own a pickup, but as a consumer, you’re a part of agriculture.

You’re what I call a modern-day agriculturalist. Someone who wants to know more about their food by asking questions. Cultivating relationships and building a foundation with farmers and ranchers.

You’re a part of the food conversation. Just like everyone else in agriculture.

So pull up a seat and let’s talk. And eat.