This week for my Ag public relations class we had a guest speaker named Lynzee Glass; she works with Ozark Farm and neighbor. This is a paper written every three weeks about agriculture in Missouri, and surrounding states. It has almost 50,000 readers, but most are male between ages 35 and 64. It seems in modern day society the younger generations are using a lot more technology. The Ozark Farm and Neighbor paper decided to utilize internet sources. They now are connected to the world through Facebook and Twitter. Lynzee had mentioned that her boss almost seemed a little reluctant to join Facebook at first. He was simply trying to figure out how it could help him make a profit? This is the one of the most important questions when it comes to operating a business. But, what happens when these older men who read their paper pass on? I know that I personally haven’t read a paper myself in at least a year. I do happen to check my Facebook, and use the internet daily.
This lead them to using social media beyond just their paper. It is the best way for them to connect to the younger generation of the world. Once they made the Facebook page then they could track how many people liked it. The internet also has changed how they can get information out. The paper is only sent out every three weeks, this often means breaking news is often sent out a while after it happens. Social media has allowed them to get information out in a much more timely manner. They can also post community events, photos, and press releases through twitter. Even if they only have a few thousand followers, they are reaching additional people. Lets face it not a ton of older farmers check their Facebook page each day, that is if they even have one. Since making Facebook, and Twitter is free it seems like only a gain. Utilizing the internet has definitely only helped out their business. The world is changing, and if a business doesn’t keep up it may just be left in the dust.
The reason I started this blog is for my Agriculture Public Relations class. Each week I am required to write a post, often I am given the option on what I want to talk about. This week in class we really started delving into some of the misperceptions in agriculture. We were all given an hour to find a partner, and making a video relating to agriculture. My partner and I decided to see what PETA had to say about the beef industry. We were only required to have a two minute video, and we managed to make ours almost three minutes. All we ended up getting to explain was one mere sentence that PETA had made in the opening paragraph of their page. It seems to amaze me how many people have such a strong opinion on something they have no facts on.
There are so many misperceptions of Agriculture it should honestly enrage many people working in the industry. This class is important to any Ag major, because everyone needs a voice. We must defend our way of living along with the jobs we have. People aren’t necessarily trying to offend us they are simply misinformed. The video I made is nothing special by all means. But, just something as simple as a video, or blog can go viral. One thing you post online can change the opinion of so many people. I believe the Ag community needs to go out and get more involved with the internet. Modern technology is how the world is functioning. If more people decide to get onboard then it will make it easier to share OUR story. This will keep people who have no clue what they are saying from poisoning our industry. Even if you do just make a short video off your phone, someone will see it and that can make all the difference.
I’ve officially been living in Springfield for about a month now. I’m already having slight withdrawals from the farms back home. At least in the city of Council Bluffs I was able to drive to the country and escape it all. I now live in my own little one bedroom apartment directly in the middle of the city. It is a nice little home, but I am itching to find a horse to ride. My parents were supposed to come down and visit this weekend my 20th birthday is on Monday. Looks like that isn’t going to happen, harvest is coming early this year. Southwest Missouri seemed to get plenty of rain this summer, but Iowa is burning up! We only have a few hundred acres that are being irrigated. Most of the corn will be ready by this week to be harvested. I fortunately have wonderful friends and a boyfriend who will celebrate with me instead. My birthday has been close to harvest every year, I understand that the job comes first.
I’m feeling slightly depressed that I will miss it another year because of school. Not many people understand what harvest is like, but it is my favorite time of year. The air starts to cool down just to the perfect temperature it feels crisp in the morning. I can comfortably put on boots and flannels without being sweaty and miserable. Leaves change to brilliant radiant colors before they fall filling up yards. My favorite is driving the diesel truck through the hills looking at the corn ready to be picked. It is golden yellow, and to me that is what money looks like. It makes me laugh when people say “money doesn’t grow on trees.” In my family money grows on corn, because that is purely how we make our entire income. Red tractors and combines work around the clock to pick everything before it gets too cold. I love to ride around in the combine with my father, we never say much to each other though. Most farm men don’t, he simply loves to know I am next to him. That is all he needs to make his day better, and the same goes for me. I don’t know what it is, but there is something soothing and wonderful about harvest time. Most people would think it was boring sitting in a tractor for 15 hours a day, They simply don’t understand what its like to farm, but I would love to give insight of just what it means to me.
It all began in a tiny farm town in Hamburg, Iowa population 900. My great grandfather bought acres upon acres of farmland knowing one day it would pass down to his future generations of grandchildren. So here I am, going to school at Missouri State University with the dreams of farming for the rest of my life. I was raised in the Country life I was on a horse before I was in preschool, and had more animals than the entire town. I loved my tiny town, everyone knew who you were. It was safe, and I didn’t want to leave. In fifth grade my mother and sister decided it was best to move an hour away to the city of Council Bluffs, Iowa. I screamed and cried the entire time we were moving, my father decided to commute to the farms every day from the big city. I now consider myself to be a city slicking farmer because of my upbringing. My roots are strong for the country life I fish, love my guns, and could ride a horse everyday. But, I learned quick in the city if you want any friends you better learn to dress and go shopping. I now have a wardrobe that is completely full of dresses, heels, and clothes. Right below is a 12 gauge, six pairs of cowboy boots, and belts so binged out they could blind you. It isn’t uncommon for me to ride horses all morning in a dirty outfit then drive back up to the city and go out to dance clubs with a dress and heels. I’ve always just thought that I was fortunate to grow up with the best of both worlds. My parents farm close to 3,700 acres of pure row crop. Corn and soybeans are the only thing you will find out in the field. We also have many thoroughbreds my dad loves the horse racing business. I want to manage the farms until he retires, then hopefully take over and run the business. I live quite an interesting life, but I love every single minute of it.