This is a Snapchat I received from my friend Kelly Wilson. Bucket calf kisses are the best. It would be hard not to love this little guy.
Social media today is what I like to call a necessary evil. It's one of the easiest ways to make a public political statement or share a funny video. It's also an outlet for the pictures of your dog that you have stashed in the gallery of your phone.
YouTube was the first online media to set the trend for videos going viral. To fully understand what I'll be discussing in this post, click here to watch Farmer Nice explain why we need farmers more than just three times a day.
Sharing doesn't just mean giving up your toys or the last piece of chocolate cake anymore. Sharing means liking, posting, adding filters to pictures and uploading short video clips. By sharing pieces of our everyday lives to social media sites, we're telling the world, "Hey look at me," or "I really care about this."
In the cyber world of constant updates, Farmer Nice has found a way to quickly and efficiently show the selfie-posters and YouTube surfers who may not be familiar with a farmer's world what agriculture is all about. He relates farming to playing Farmville on an iPad. The same technology used by gamers is being utilized by farmers for GPS tracking, drones and precision agriculture. Technology helps farmers do all of this while maximizing yield and minimizing environmental impact. He gives examples of twenty-eight nontraditional farmer-produced products, such as buttons and pet shampoo. He connects with the consumer by using products other than food. By illustrating to the consumer the impact farmers have on their everyday lives, consumers can begin to understand how agriculture is all around them and not just the animals on Old McDonald's Farm.
Although consumers love the delicious and nutritious food farmers produce, some have gotten the wrong information about "factory farms." Farmer Nice points out that your food doesn't come from a factory or the Keebler elves, it comes from farming. The average person consumes about 1,400 pounds of food per year. He poses the question, "How much of that do you want to grow yourself?"
Anti-agriculture groups are quick to protest the growth of producers and farmers but hesitant to assist in food production. How can everyday consumers produce 1400 pounds of food without the education and dedication that a farmer has? To farmers, feeding the world is not just a job. It's a hunger for constant improvement that can only be satisfied by the consumer's support of the products they grow and produce.
With digital updates and photos at our fingertips, it's important that as an agriculture community we show the world what we do. We can show them by taking selfies with our swine. We can show them with a video of us planting corn or soybeans. We can show them how we care for newborn lambs with a Snapchat. Let's expose what really happens on the farm. Technology is allowing us to be LinkedIn to the consumer. If we don't show it, how can we expect the consumer to know it?
Contact Michaela Leimkuehler at firstname.lastname@example.org