How Will TPP Impact Farmers?

There’s been a large amount of discussion surrounding TPP and how it will influence trade between the United States and other countries. Yet, still many don’t understand what this piece of legislation is other than a fun acronym our presidential candidates have been throwing out occasionally.  It can be difficult to keep up with what this agreement entails and this is why I’ve chosen to blog about it. I want you to understand how it will have an impact here at home on those who produce our food.

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It’s Nice to Meet You!

My name’s Lauren Schlothauer. I’m currently a senior majoring in agricultural communications and minoring in journalism and livestock production at New Mexico State University. When I’m not watching bad nineties movies or eating copious amounts of green Chile I enjoy advocating for agriculture. Or, agvocating, as others may call it.

Really it’s just sharing your own story about how food gets from gate to plate. With less than two percent of Americans farming there is often a huge disconnect between where dinner actually comes from. Modern day farming practices and the supply chain in the United States have become so incredibly efficient that to purchase most products we as consumers don’t actually ever meet agriculturalists that make our days so possible. It’s easy to stand by and think that agriculture doesn’t have an impact upon your life but if you eat, wear clothing or utilize many other everyday products which contain byproducts it makes everything possible.

I did not grow up on a farm or ranch. In fact, quite the opposite. I grew up in Las Cruces New Mexico with about one hundred twenty thousand other people. However, I have always been passionate about my heritage. This is what connects me to those that grow our food. My great great grandfather’s family who originally farmed in Russia (after moving from Germany several years earlier) actually immigrated to the United States and after taking up a variety of odd jobs and working the land for others they were able to purchase their own land and cultivate crops as well as grow cattle. This tradition continued throughout my father’s childhood and I grew up being impacted by their story telling and pride in our German heritage. We still say part of the lord’s prayer in German during the major holidays even though it’s truly a fragment of the entire thing.

Even though I know that with the right support and resources I have no doubt I could continue farming I want to make an impact in another way. I want to continue my family’s legacy in a different way – by providing a voice for others currently in the agriculture industry. I am passionate about sharing information with consumers so farmers can continue to have the freedom to farm in the way that is best for the animals and the land while maintaining accessibility for those who rely on more affordable food products.

I could not do this without College Aggies Online. College Aggies Online is an agricultural advocacy program where college students are able to connect with industry leaders to learn how to better communicate where our food and fiber come from. I have been a part of this program for two years and this is my third. Not only is this program dynamic as new needs arise for different content but it gets better every time. The College Aggies Online program is what gave me my start in agricultural advocacy and what continues to help me improve. This year the College Aggies Online Program will last about nine weeks and some of the valuable information includes learning how to design effective infographics, writing blog posts, writing effective posts on social media channels which eventually culminates into a powerful final project where you advocate for agriculture in person or even over video. College Aggies Online is not a program to be missed if you want to build a network of people within the food and agriculture industry that can help you draw experience from and even connect with to move the needle on the perspective many share when it comes to where their food comes from.

What programs have you been a part of to learn how to better connect and share your message?


Thanks for reading!



Bridesmaid DIY Box (for only $10!)

I’m very excited to say that I’m getting married! My boyfriend (now fiancé) of five years popped the question and in a little under just eleven months we’ll be tying the knot. Now as thrilled as I am to be engaged, I was was also looking forward to asking my bridesmaids to be a part of our special day.  So I chose to make Bridesmaid Boxes!

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Dear Farmer,

Dear Farmer,

I love what you do, but we need to talk.

I know that you work long hours and do grueling hard work.

I know that you tend to crops or care for animals. Perhaps even both.

I know that you get to experience the joy of life and the finality of death which both are sobering – even after you’ve given it everything you have.

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6 Things Your Nutritionist Wants You to Know

March is National Nutrition Month and many nutrition professionals around the United States are using this as an opportunity to educate people within the community about good nutrition. It’s no secret that most people struggle to find good, sound nutrition advice. One would think with the advances in technology and our unlimited access to the web, it would be easy… The reality- it’s more difficult. People are bombarded with, “eat this, not that” propaganda. Self proclaimed food experts push unregulated, opinion based nutrition information to the public through various blogs, obtaining followers from all over the world through scare tactics- avoid GMO’s, eat organic, don’t eat beef or dairy, avoid gluten! What is a consumer to do?!?

As a “wanna be” nutrition professional, aspiring registered dietitian, and former trend follower, there are a few things I’ve learned over the years and I’ve created a list to hopefully assist you in your journey to finding a balanced diet.

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6 Things To Know About Krupa’s Wool Ad

A few days ago a video was shared by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) featuring Joanna Krupa entitled “Wool: The Naked Truth” to convince consumers not to purchase wool products by comparing the shearing of sheep to domestic violence. After Krupa introduces herself upbeat elevator music is cued and the theatrics of this campaign are revealed as you see faux blood being dabbed onto a faux lamb as well as the speaker who is described as having ‘stripp[ed]’ down to share her message. PETA who often uses women portrayed in overly sensationalized way with minimal clothing to share their view upon animal rights.

Here are 6 things to know if you’ve seen this video in your newsfeed and aren’t quite sure what to think:

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35 Ways to Win At College – A Mini Guide to Adulting


I’ve been attending college pursuing a degree in Agricultural Communications and a minor in Livestock Production for almost 3 years. I don’t have it all figured out. But there are lots of things I would tell my freshman self if I had the opportunity (plus all of the awesome advice my Facebook friends had to share). So I thought, why not publish our ponderings ? Here are 35 ways to help you win at college –

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Decoding Dr. Oz’s Special on American Beef


I found out Dr. Oz was doing a special on beef in America. As a state and national beef ambassador I thought, why would I not watch it?

I would typically be at work but was actually home sick. I guess that’s one of the only benefits.

For everyone that did watch it that has limited experience in the beef industry, you were probably left with lingering questions. I know if I wasn’t knowledgeable about where my beef comes from I would be in the same situation.

Where we source our beef has come from farmers and ranchers that are continually concerned about improving by ensuring we have access to a safe product that comes from a healthy animal while impacting natural resources as minimally as possible.

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