In today’s digital world, it is easier than ever to stay connected. Facebook and Instagram show us what family and friends are doing and, often times, what they are eating. My mom uses Snapchat to send me quick, fun photos of the farm while I am on the road. Emails help me communicate with my co-workers when I am not in the office.
With such disconnect between our farmers and processors and those with backgrounds outside of agriculture, it’s time to create a link. Of course, one of the most fun ways to educate about agriculture is by inviting everyone to the farm. When time is short and the distance is long, online resources help create the first contact.
Several family farms, farm businesses and agriculture organizations are often active on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. They use the platforms to not only connect with their members but also to share their stories. Social media is a perpetual mailman that can send a message to audiences we have not yet met. While we may never meet in real life, a digital conversation can make real changes in how someone on the other side of the screen views agriculture.
Websites can offer experiences to virtually tour a farm. Videos may showcase how cheese is made, introduce you to a mink breeder, or explain how an ear of corn can fuel a car. When people have the opportunity to ask their questions, it opens doors that lead to educated decisions in the grocery store, at the pump, or in the shopping mall.
For those who live and work in Wisconsin’s agriculture industry, I challenge you to share your story online. A few minutes spent on a Facebook post could change a stranger’s perspective for a lifetime. To anyone with backgrounds outside of agriculture looking to learn more, see what resources are available and do not be afraid to ask questions. I am deeply rooted in agriculture being born and raised on a dairy farm, but I too have a lot to learn when it comes to Wisconsin’s diverse agriculture industry.
As we eat, dress or drive, our common connection is agriculture. It’s time to check in and see what agriculture is doing in Wisconsin.