Saturday, February 11, 2012
Why Farmers MUST Blog
I have been blogging for nearly years. But enough about me. One of my goals this year is to get YOU the farmer to start blogging. Yeah yeah yeah, I hear you. "I'm too busy, I have better things to do with my time, I don't understand computers, I'd rather be pulling calves." The excuses are endless but today I want to tell you why you MUST.
But first a disclaimer. The idea for this post came from another post. A hardworking "Farmerette" in the South East of Ireland has a well done blog that I have been following for some time. Her post Why Farmers Should Blog nails the reasons farmers need to blog in order to save their farms. If you visit her blog you will note that Lorna, the blogs' author, is a busy mom, chef, writer, book reviewer, farmer and business owner, and yet she manages to squeeze in blogging. Be sure to visit her at http://irishfarmerette.com/why-farmers-should-blog/ Tell her I sent you.
But...I am not as sweet as Lorna, which is why the title of this post is Why Farmers MUST Blog.
So, from across the pond, from the viewpoint of a pushy farmer babe in America ,here are my reasons:
1. If you depend on your farm for income, people need to know you exist. Wishing it will not make it so. Ads in newspapers cost big money. Ads on radio cost big money. Billboards cost big big money. Blogging is FREE.
2. Small Farms are nearly extinct. Oh sure we have new small farms cropping up all the time but the likelihood that they will still be around in 5 years is very small. Why? Well besides the financial issues, they get little emotional support and encouragement. Blogging generates feedback and encouragement.
3.Mega farms are worried about farm bloggers. In the past when laws were passed under the table and over our heads because we were buried with work, we had little recourse to affect change. But now we can voice our opinions, challenge the makers of ridiculous laws which benefit the large factory farms but bankrupt the family farm, confront our representatives publicly and inform others of actions that can be taken to protect our farms. Blogging is essential for the building of strong farmer relationships.
4. "Buying Local" is hip and popular yet many farmers complain that their own surrounding community, doesn't even know they exist. Through regular blogging you can tell your neighbor what breed of pig that is they see in your field and why your baby pigs sometimes get loose and end up on the neighbors porch. (Sorry, we are really really sorry) Blogging is informational.
5. Today's children are being rapidly removed from farms. Soon they will not even have grandparents who farmed. Blogging is a cheap and effective way to talk to kids about animals and show them pictures so at least they will know a cow does not have wings. (From time to time though our pigs have been know to fly. Usually on the same day my husband remembers to take out the garbage.)
Blogging is educational.
6. Although our farm is generally all sweetness and light there are days I'd like to load up all the animals in an Ark and send them down the river. With my blog friends I can share my frustrations over broken meat freezers, Boars who would rather sleep than procreate and crabby customers who complain about there being fat (of all things) in their bacon strips. I can post pictures that make us laugh and send words of praise to those who have done great things. Blogging is stress reducing.
7. So there you have it. The reason I feel farmers (or their wives or husbands or paid representative)MUST blog. I also think other professions should blog but I am not here to speak for the whole world...only the whole world of farmers. There are many resources to get you started. Start with any 9 year old in your family. Most of them have more than enough computer skills to help you. If they are too busy helping another geriatric member with basic 21st Century technology then I suggest these web sites. Remember: Blogging is fun.