“Montana Stockgrowers knows how lucky we are to have Ryan Goodman on the team,” says MSGA Executive Vice President Errol Rice. “His accomplishments in the agriculture communications world are outstanding and he brings that innovation to MSGA and Montana’s ranching community.”

Goodman, also a Master’s degree candidate studying interactions between cattle nutrition and reproduction at the University of Tennessee, was bestowed the honor. The Arkansas native grew up on a cattle ranch where his family raised commercial Angus cattle with a herd of 1,200 head.

In addition, his family also had a stocker cattle operation, taking care of more than 12,000 yearling cattle on an annual basis. Goodman says that growing up on a farm fostered his desire to study cattle and to have agriculture play a significant role in his life.

“The simple truth is that I have a passion for the cattle industry and the community of folks involved in producing our food,” Goodman says. “America’s farmers and ranchers have a compelling story to tell. Whether it is our hard work, resilience, sense of community or passion to keep improving upon our skills, I am proud to be a part of a community focused on agriculture, and I am proud to receive this award.”

Goodman, author of the blog Agriculture Proud, further says, “Blogging and using social media is a way to continuously tell the story of agriculture. The heart of social media is about building relationships with individuals, not only of our like mind, but to branch out to other circles.”

Goodman also offers a farmer’s perspective through video vignettes he posts to his blog and on YouTube, and he has contributed several blog posts to CNN’s Eatocracy blog.

Goodman was chosen among eight nominees including top bloggers, journalists, students, farmers and other stakeholders invested in communicating about agriculture to society.

“This Communicator of the Year Award aims to showcase those who are concerned not just with the here and now of understanding agriculture, but with the needs of generations to come,” says Dave Schmidt, president and CEO of the International Food Information Council, which coordinates the Alliance. “We are honored that Ryan accepted this award and we look forward to working with him to help enhance the dialogue about modern food production.” FG

—From Montana Stockgrowers Association news release