Connecting Your Farm: Share What You Know
Write and share what you know. That simple – but solid – advice from Katie Pratt should be the guiding principle used as you write blogs or decide what to post on your website.
“Don’t feel like you have to be a master of all things agriculture,” she says. “Write from your farm’s perspective.”
While it sounds easy, coming up with ideas for blog posts isn’t always. Pratt has worked through this as she’s blogged at theillionoisfarmgirl.com for the past four years.
Here are five potential topics from Pratt that will hopefully trigger ideas for your own website. (If you don’t have a website or blog, keep these in mind as you share your farm’s story through social media or other avenues.)
1. Seasonal updates. Post pictures and videos and write about what you do on the farm each season. This may seem too simple, but don’t underestimate the appeal of seeing a combine in action or photos taken as corn begins to emerge. This may be what you experience every day, but to your online audience, including consumers and landlords, this is a whole new world.
2. What happens on the farm. “My most-read post was about vandalism to a neighbor’s cornfield when someone took a joyride through it,” says Pratt. “I explained why our fields aren’t a playground. That got so much traffic, it was crazy.”
3. Hot topics. Last May, Pratt posted about the John Deere organic garment label that was being shared on social media. Pratt expressed her disappointment that a company with deep roots in agriculture “picked sides and threw all of us conventional farmers under the bus.” Two days later, John Deere called to say, “We are sorry.”
That shows the power of sharing your story and sharing the farmer’s perspective, she says.
“On the flip side, just because you have an online voice doesn’t mean you need to jump on everything and attack right away. Sometimes you need to let the story play out and remember that people can make mistakes,” she says.
4. Ag education. Remember that your audience may not have an ag background, so what may seem trivial or even boring to you could be fascinating to your audience.
“I wrote a post outlining the different kinds of corn, how many there are, and what they are used for. That gets shared and gets lots of traffic,” says Pratt. “I also wrote about the anatomy of a planter, which seemed bland to me, but it’s been shared quite a bit among teachers and university folks.”
5. Interests outside of agriculture. Not every post or photo needs to be centered around agriculture. Share photos of your family and children, if you are comfortable posting these online. Or write about your favorite activity.
Two years ago, Pratt started a series about harvest meals. “I share those recipes and connect with a wider audience than just the farming audience through recipe sharing,”