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Q & A: Agriculture.com Member Darrin Steinert
Darrin Steinert is one of almost 25,000 members of the Agriculture.com community. The Agriculture.com community is a series of forums and blogs where farmers can interact on different topics, including business, marketing, production, machinery, technology, and rural life. “A digital coffee shop is a good way to describe it,” says Steinert.
Since Steinert joined in 2011, he has started 359 topics, replied to 3,929 posts, and read 211,532 messages.
SF: Why did you originally join?
DS: I’m always looking for agriculture sites. I’ve also been a long-time reader of the magazine. I kind of just stumbled upon the Agriculture.com community and started contributing.
SF: How have the forums changed since 2011?
DS: When I first joined, it was primarily all business – not much clowning around or joking. I think there was a shake-up at a competing site probably a year or two years ago when we got a bunch of new contributors. They like to have fun, but they are also at work. It took me a long time to warm up to that.
Now, I’m probably one of the worst ones at making wisecracks. I’ve also become good friends with two or three of the new contributors. I’ve never met them, but I talk to a couple of them on the phone almost on a weekly basis.
SF: What do you get out of the discussion groups?
DS: I really like interacting with other farmers. I go to the groups to look for more information and to get the daily grasp on things. If there is a big happening or shake-up in the world that day, generally I can find a thread on the blog board pertaining to it. Not all current events directly involve or affect agriculture, but indirectly, everything is affected.
SF: How often do you check the forums?
DS: For the most part, I check it, if not every day, five or six days of the week. Usually, I check it multiple times a day, depending how busy I am on the farm.
SF: What’s your favorite forum topic?
DS: My favorite is crops. I’ve recently gotten back into the cattle business, so I catch myself visiting the cattle section frequently. Really, I visit them all.
SF: If you could make one improvement to the forums, what would it be?
DS: I’d like to see more activity in the crops section.
SF: Why would you recommend the forums to other farmers?
DS: I’d recommend it for daily information. A lot of the stuff on Facebook and Twitter – not that it’s not useful – is for entertainment purposes. The forum is a farmer-friendly social media site.
To join the conversation, go to http://community.agriculture.com.
Editor’s Note: Steinert asked to not include his Agriculture.com username to protect his privacy.
Name: Darrin Steinert
Hometown: Otis, Kansas
Farm: A third of his 750 dryland acres is in hard red winter wheat, a third is in grain sorghum, and a third is forage or fallow. He recently started an Angus cattle herd.
Farming operation: “It’s primarily me,” he says. “My mom drives the truck during harvest, and my wife prepares meals and moves equipment. I also have cousins who help. My oldest son is in college and doesn’t have much of an interest in the farm. My youngest boy is in 7th grade. He likes to come out to the farm, so he will be the hope for the future.”