Tell Your Farm's Story

By Pete Bakken
P&E Committee Member

I just returned home from Leadership Conference at the Sanford Convention Center in Bemidji, held annually by the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) Promotion & Education and Young Farmers & Ranchers Committees. Nearly 225 people from around the state were in attendance, and the weather cooperated nicely for both tours and travel. I encourage everyone to mark January 26 and 27 in your calendar for next year’s conference in Red Wing. Your county may be able to help fund your trip. Just ask - you won’t be disappointed and it will help motivate you to accomplish personal goals.

With all of this excitement in mind, spring is right around the corner and calving season is underway for many, followed by planting season. With this time of year, I challenge you to think of ways to promote agriculture with all the activity happening on your farm. I like to focus on the activities that are “fun and easy” to do.

Over the years, I have learned how to use my cell phone to tell my farm’s story. Learning the ropes of my phone was actually pretty easy, so don’t be intimidated by that idea (if I can do it, so can you!) For the more advanced cell phone users, the philosophy of “if a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a library” might come to mind. Short, 30-second videos are always helpful in reaching your audience.

One simple way to utilize your videos could be to contact your local school and ask to share your farm with classrooms; maybe even a personal visit. The students and teachers enjoy seeing “real” farmers, not just ones they learn about in a book or on the internet. I would suggest getting the emails of local teachers and include a short narration with your farm photos and videos. Remember, it only takes a few minutes to make a huge impact on future, young consumers.

Good luck with telling the story of agriculture and your farm in your local community. Also, it’s never too early to look over your “invite list” for next year’s Leadership Conference. Finally, remember during the busiest of days to be safe; somebody needs you. Have a great spring!