About four and a half years ago, I was in Rob Brenneman’s office in Washington, Iowa, interviewing him for an article in the magazine. While we were talking, he had to attend to some other business so I entertained myself by looking around the office. Throughout the space, there were these beautiful framed photographs of the farm, rural landscapes, animals, people and more. Whoever took them had an eye for capturing moments in time.
When Rob returned, I questioned him about the photos, and he said his daughter-in-law had taken them. I asked whether he thought she’d let me feature some of them on the website and in the magazine or if she might be interested in writing a blog for us. Hence, my friendship with Erin Brenneman began.
I can only take a little credit for giving Erin an outlet for her life on the farm through words and pictures—99% of the credit belongs exclusively to her. This energetic, vivacious young woman engages you from the first time you talk to her, and to see how she’s blossomed in the past four years has been fascinating to observe. From writing a blog on www.PorkBusiness.com, Erin became one of the Farmers & Ranchers Alliance’s Faces of Farming and is basically a household name in farming circles and beyond.
“What better way to bring the focus back to the things that matter than by sharing the human side of farming?” Erin wrote in one of her blog posts. “We need to take advantage of the opportunity to show that we really are just like everyone else. We are not simply pig-pumping machines with little feeling for the work we do or the animals we care for.”
Erin, who is featured (in her own photo!) as the cover story in the May issue of Farm Journal's PORK magazine, feels strongly about sharing her farm’s story in multiple ways, but especially through social media.
“We need to demonstrate to people that we are humans with families; that we have fun with our co-workers and do every day, ordinary things; in addition to providing the great gift that we happen to have for feeding the world!” Erin says. “While I truly enjoy sharing my farm duties and the different things we do for our pigs, I equally relish sharing the things that highlight our strong family and show the ‘ordinary’ side of our lives outside farming.”
We hope you enjoy getting to know Erin Brenneman as much as we have, and we hope you’ll take her lead in sharing your farm’s story.
Read more about Erin Brenneman:
This article was featured in the May 2018 issue of Farm Journal's Pork.