Amelia Hayden: My Daily Sock Check

“Ms. Hayden, what’s your agriculture sock of the day today?”

The students I teach ask me this every day. You’re probably wondering: “Why in the world do your students care about your socks?”

To better answer that, I’d like to introduce myself. I am Amelia Hayden. While I’m an avid collector of agriculture-related socks, my biggest passions are agriculture and serving others. I combined these passions by majoring in Agriculture Education at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.

My passion started early on when I joined 4-H as a “cloverbud” and fell in love with everything about 4-H. It allowed me to overcome my shy personality and began to develop my passion for agriculture.

Joining FFA in high school showed me just how rewarding helping others could be. While planning youth agriculture day camps, volunteering at county dairy breakfasts, and mentoring students, I realized my drive to serve through agriculture.

These experiences inspired me to continue a lifetime of service to others in agriculture. For me, there is no greater honor than to serve agriculture by educating others about Wisconsin’s industry. With careers from cranberries and agriscience to cheese making and ginseng production, we have an incredibly diverse agriculture industry to be proud of! I am honored to continue sharing agriculture’s stories as a 75th Alice in Dairyland Top Candidate.

In my daily life, I strive to connect others to agriculture – which brings us back to my “Daily Sock Check.”

“Ms. Hayden, what’s your agriculture sock of the day today?”

For yesterday’s Daily Sock Check, I shared, “Today I have cranberries on! Did you know that Wisconsin produces 60% of the nation’s cranberries?”

Though it seems small, these moments are powerful ways to share agriculture’s story. My socks – just quirky enough to be relatable for my students – inspire deeper conversations about our connection to agriculture.

Our conversations range from discussing Wisconsin’s dairy innovation when I wear my rotary milking parlor socks to highlighting its ranking as the #1 corn silage producing state when I’ve got my corn socks on. With each silly sock, I share agriculture tidbits that connect to students’ lives.

We are all connected to agriculture each day. Take a moment to understand your connection:

No matter our connection to agriculture, we can inspire deeper conversations through small moments. One way I do that is through my socks. I’m always excited to choose my socks of the day. What brings purpose to my excitement is when I can then connect others to agriculture.

Today, I invite you to join me in inspiring those deeper conversations about how we are each connected to agriculture. Put on your favorite pair of agriculture-related socks, post about your connection to Wisconsin’s diverse agriculture industry, or share your favorite places to buy local!

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