Ag Awareness Week speaker to focus on strength of American agriculture
By: Norman Martin
Matt Rush, a longtime leader with New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau and a talented motivational speaker, has a cautionary message for South Plains' agricultural producers. Look out for snakes that live among them, in other words, those in the general population whose only goal appears to be undermining an agricultural way of life.
That's part of a message the fourth-generation New Mexico farmer and cattle rancher will deliver during a featured presentation at 6 p.m. Monday (April 16) in the Matador Room of Texas Tech's Student Union Building. Hosted by Texas Tech University's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Agricultural Awareness Week, admission to the event is free and open to the public.
Rush's lecture, titled "There's a Snake in My Bumper," will center on general agriculture and the viability, value and visibility of agriculture in the region. In explaining his rather unorthodox program title, Rush said that "occasionally in life, there are snakes that are lying in wait to scare you. There may even be people who know they are there, but don't bother telling you."
"How do you handle them?" he asked. "The reality is that the majority of us are perfectly content to simply do our jobs rather than to tell anyone who we are and why we do what we do. The sad truth is, in the absence of our voices, those who don't know us, don't understand us or don't like us are redefining who we are. No matter what you do, we must be viable, valuable and visible to remain successful and avoid the snakes and the button pushers."
A winner of several state and national awards for public speaking, Rush has co-authored several books on leadership. His upcoming book is "The Power of an Inch." In addition, he is the former CEO of the New Mexico Farm Bureau, and past president of the Ethos Leadership Group. He has also served on the American Farm Bureau's Foundation for Agriculture Board of Directors and the Berean Children's Home Board of Directors.
"Agriculture probably provides the greatest fluctuation from optimism to pessimism than any other industry on the face of the earth," Rush said. "From markets, to weather, to legislative issues, to just plain hard work, we are constantly faced with daily changes and challenges. On some days, it even looks bleak. But no one should ever doubt that the future of American agriculture is strong because, after all, we are the future of American agriculture."
CONTACT: Steven Fraze, Interim Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2808 or firstname.lastname@example.org