By RACHAL PINKERTON
MOSES LAKE — April 23 marks the three-year anniversary of a popular agriculture Facebook page dubbed “agri.CULTURE.” The page is a passion of Moses Lake resident Sue Tebow. Every day for the past three years, Tebow has posted the story of someone involved in agriculture.
“My husband thought I would run out of people,” said Tebow. “Farm-related people are everywhere.”
When Tebow first started the page, she decided she wanted a bank of 100 stories. But as she started talking to people, she decided to start with 50 instead. She found that without the stories already on the page, it could be hard to explain what she was envisioning.
With 52 stories in hand, Tebow made her first post on April 23, 2016.
“If I post a person every morning, I hope people will learn something behind their food, fiber and fuel,” said Tebow. “My first post was in honor of my mother-in-law. She taught me that farmers and ranchers are very humble. They say, ‘You don’t want to talk to me. I’m not very exciting. I don’t do anything special.’ It’s what they do. It’s their way of life. This project is to educate urban people about rural people.”
As Tebow has interviewed people, she has also been educated in areas of agriculture that she didn’t know.
“I have learned so much about what is going on here in ag,” Tebow said. “I have met some of the most wonderful people. It has been good for my soul.”
In the fall of 2016, Tebow’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/agri.CULTURE.people, was nominated for the Charles Eastin Award. The Charles Eastin Award is presented to individuals who help bridge the gap between rural and urban communities. Tebow and her husband traveled to Washington D.C. for Ag Day 2017 so Tebow could receive the award.
“I was just honored to receive that,” said Tebow.
While they were there, the Tebow’s spent a couple of days sight-seeing. During their visit, Tebow saw a horse trailer.
“Who thought you’d see a horse trailer in the middle of D.C.?” Tebow said. “I snooped around and found the stables. They belonged to the National Mounted Police,” said Tebow. “Two guys were shoeing horses. The horses have to stand on pavement all day. They put special spikes on the shoes so they don’t sink into the pavement. Everywhere you go, someone can teach you something.”
Tebow posted one of the guys’ stories on April 4, 2017. Another story from her trip was posted on May 9, 2017. This story was of a 7-year-old farm girl from Kansas who had become known as the “Presidential Expert” on the Ellen Show due to her knowledge of the presidents.
On Oct. 20, 2017, Tebow posted the story of a family in Kansas who grows pink pumpkins to help raise money for those fighting breast cancer. Other stories that Tebow has featured include FFA students and advisors, members of the Marlin Hutterite Community, stories of little farmers under the age of 8, family, friends and complete strangers whose names she never learned.
One of the features of Tebow’s stories, in fact, is that they do not feature any names.
“My goal is to tell the story of farmers or ranchers,” Tebow said. “The name doesn’t matter. I focus on the story.”
Tebow’s approach to agricultural education has gained her over 15,000 worldwide followers on Facebook. One time, a man in Germany asked a question. Tebow was running errands and decided to wait to answer the question until she returned home.
“By the time I got home, other people had answered him,” said Tebow.
One lady gave the man a detailed answer that included much more information than Tebow would have given. The lady was from Wisconsin.
“It blows my mind,” Tebow said. “People still like it. It is growing. People say how much they appreciate the education they are getting from the page. It has been really fun. Some stories are funny. Some are educational. Some are heartfelt. Some are sad. It is a true show of passion. I can remember all those stories, all 750 of them. I think there are over 750 now.”
During the month of April, some of Tebow’s stories have been featured as an art display at Mason’s Place, a coffee shop located at 102 E Third Ave. in Moses Lake.
“I think it is fun for me to show off people and photos in the display,” said Tebow. “But there is nothing like walking onto someone’s farm. You see them grow food for the rest of the world. It blows me away.”
Tebow’s stories can be viewed at www.facebook.com/agri.CULTURE.people.
Rachal Pinkerton may be reached via email at email@example.com.