Though her reign as Miss America may have ended, Teresa Scanlan is continuing her mission to advocate for agriculture.
KTIC Radio reports that Scanlan broke the mold when she was crowned Miss America in 2011. A native of Nebraska, she embraced her agriculture background and established partnerships with several agriculture organizations during her reign, including The Hand That Feeds U.S., U.S. Cattlemen's Association and Real Farmers, Real Food.
While traveling across the country, Scanlan noticed a massive disconnect geographically. By taking the role of non-traditional spokesperson for agriculture, Scanlan set out to bridge the gap between urban and rural America.
Scanlan’s agriculture mission also impacts the pageant that first propelled her into the national spotlight. As a result of Scanlan’s agriculture advocacy, more state title holders have stepped forward to support their state’s farmers and ranchers.
In an article written for FoxNews, Scanlan pointed out the importance of agriculture producers.
“Can we feed a growing world population, fuel our economy, and still offer wholesome food choices to Americans? Sure, just as long as we avoid weakening the very infrastructure that makes it all possible,” Scanlan wrote.
“Modern-day agriculture has to do its part in reaching out and teaching us about what they do and how they do it. Educational groups like The Hand That Feeds U.S. and the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association are a good start, but it’s not enough,” she continued. “The rest of us must reconnect with our rural roots and understand that we all have a stake in the success of farmers and ranchers. Urban and rural America need to come together, and I plan to spend my time as Miss America to make that happen.”
Scanlan passed the crown Miss Wisconsin Laura Kaeppeler as the 2012 Miss America winner in early January.
Despite the end of her reign as Miss America, Scanlan will continue to tell the story of agriculture. In the next few months she will be speaking at a variety of conventions and conferences, including the Kansas Farm Bureau's Young Farmer and Rancher Conference in Wichita, Kan. on Jan. 29. Scanlan will also continue her partnership with the Hands That Feeds Us.