On a rural ranch in the northernmost part of the Texas Hill Country, a young Laramie Adams lived as many rural Texans do. His family ranched and grew corn for local dairy farmers Adams spent his spare time traveling to the next FFA contest, stock show or rodeo. Nowhere in his upbringing did he realize the direction his interests and hobbies would lead him. Not until Adams enrolled at Texas Tech University did he discover he belonged in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communications.
Adams stepped on the Texas Tech campus in 2005 and knew he had found his place. He quickly became a member of the horse judging team and found a job true to his roots–a small farm and horse operation in Idalou, where he cleaned horse stalls and more.
While studying agricultural communications, Adams needed to locate an internship. He doubted his manure shoveling job would meet the department’s internship standards. He applied with local Lubbock lawyer and former state senator, Robert Duncan. During the interview, Adams recalled being asked the familiar interview question, ‘Why do you want this internship?
“I was straight up honest,” Adams said. “[I’m] tired of shoveling horse manure and want to learn.”
Doubtful that answer would score him a job, Adams was surprised when then Sen. Duncan called with an offer. Adams accepted. Though completely unaware of it at the time, that internship experience in 2008 would jump start his political career.
In January 2009, Adams took off a semester to work in Austin during the Texas Legislative Session. Afterwards, Adams returned to Texas Tech and completed his senior year while continuing his work with Sen. Duncan.
Doors continued to open for Adams. Adams received the opportunity to move to Washington, D.C. after graduation to work for former Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman and U.S. Senator from Arkansas, Blanche Lincoln, as a press assistant. Adams remained with Sen. Lincoln until she left the senate in 2010.
Adams leveraged his D.C. experience into a new opportunity with the Virginia-based organization, Animal Agriculture Alliance, an organization that strives to counteract the advancement of animal rights groups like PETA and create a bridge of communication from farm to fork.
“[They] set the record straight with science and common sense,” Adams explained.
Before long, Adams was back working in a political office. This time, he served the Congressman from Oklahoma’s 3rd Congressional district and House Agriculture Committee Chairman, Frank Lucas. Adams was named the communications director in May 2011 and, during his three-year stint, laid the groundwork for the farm bill that would ultimately be passed in 2014.
“That’s where I really started to go into ag policy,” Adams said.
However, like a true Texan, the faint call of the Lonestar State were too much to ignore.
“I knew I wanted to get back to Texas and waited for the right opportunity,” he said.
That opportunity came with the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association where he served as communications director. In addition to handling press for TSCRA, Adams also managed the TSCRA Political Action Committee fundraising efforts and worked on state and national policy.
Eventually, needing a good place to raise a family counterweighted Adams’ search for career advancement. In 2017, Adams left the Austin city lights for Waco and the Texas Farm Bureau where he now works as the national legislative director. In this role, Adams oversees national legislative affairs for the largest agriculture organization in Texas, representing over 533,000 member families. He is the primary national lobbyist for the TFB where he works with leaders of Congress, especially the 38-member Texas Congressional delegation, to advance policies important to farm and ranch families.
“Everything I’ve [previously] done is all connected now because I’m working with all my friends and contacts I made while in Lubbock, Austin and Washington, D.C.,” Adams said. “Texas Farm Bureau has allowed me to gain countless new contacts which in-turn help enact good ag policy in D.C. I love working directly for farmers and ranchers and Texas Farm Bureau; you can’t find a better place to work if you’re going to serve the ag community.”
Adams credits his successful career to his experience in Texas Tech’s agricultural communications program.
“You use communication in so many different facets” he said. “It’s not just about writing or just about radio or any one certain thing. It’s about communication with people, and I think you can use that in so many different ways. You’ll need to be a good writer in whatever career path you take.”
Adams said if not for his agricultural communications degree and the professors at Texas Tech, he never would have had the confidence to feel good about writing and communicating with people. Adams then doubled down saying professors at Texas Tech invest way more in students than anywhere else he’s seen.
Adams said the biggest skill he acquired and still uses from Texas Tech was making relationships.
“It’s all about relationships,” he said.
Adams encourages students to make the most of their college experience.
“Don’t just go to class,” Adams said. “Get involved. Get out of your comfort zone and meet people and talk to your professors. Do an internship; Even if you don’t know what you want to do–you never know what path it will lead you down.”