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Tilley completes Farm Bureau Boot Camp

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Roane County Farm Bureau member Whitney Tilley was among 14 farm and ranch women leaders recognized by the American Farm Bureau Federation as graduates of the organization’s 10th annual Women’s Communications Boot Camp in Washington, D.C., last month.

The group of agricultural leaders was recognized after completing an intensive three-day course featuring sessions on working with the media, public speaking, testifying and messaging.

“It’s a pleasure to see people who come in hungry for knowledge, hungry to do more and educate more for the future of agriculture,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall.

Tilley, who lives in Ten Mile and owns a farm in Kingston, said she was honored to participate in the program.

“I felt I had an obligation as a farmer, a farmer’s wife, a mother, and a Roane County Farm Bureau member to take full advantage of the opportunity to become a better advocate for agriculture,” she said.

Tilley said she hopes to one day sit on her front porch and listen to her great-grandchildren’s laughter echoing through the hills and valleys of her farm.

“I pray that we have somehow cultivated in our children a love for cattle, growing things on the land and just agriculture in general so they can pass the legacy on to their children,” she said.

Tilley said her children are the third generation to work on the farm, and she hopes when it is time to pass the farm on to them the circumstances are favorable to keep it growing and prospering to support their families.
“The only way this will ever happen is if right now we are proactive in making sure that this life we love is protected,” she said.

“I hope the skills I learned during boot camp will help me step up and speak boldly for agriculture.”