Thursday, January 20, 2011

Online Farming, What a Resource (Not Farmville)

Farming has changed so much in the past 100, 50, even ten years! I can't believe how much knowledge has been gained through science and technology in my lifetime alone (20 years). As the speed of change increases and life shifts to the next generation (my generation), we see many changes in agriculture. I see almost every day the "older" farmers meeting up in town at the gas station (local watering hole) to talk about farming, sports, weather, women and who knows what else. Although there is a huge trend growing in America for coffee shops, you don't see my generation meeting up and spending time sitting around drinking coffee and talking.

You might already know why this is. We have grown to be a technological society, by that I mean that we can spend hours on the internet using online social networks to talk to others. In a way, we are cultivating the internet, farming online. and no, I'm not talking about farmville.

Our ability to plant information, spread information & knowledge and harvest or gather information is a great thing. It's almost as if the internet and use of online social networks is a "natural resource" for us. The best part, it doesn't cost to farm the internet!!!!! if you're reading this blog then you are capable of being a successful online farmer.

So what can we do with our online fields??? We can plant information for anyone to harvest. As producers that use the internet we are kind of pulling double duty. We produce ag products for consumption but when we plant information online we can plant so much more than just the product.

What would be the end result of our online farming? by planting information into the internet we have built a connection with the consumers of our products. We have built a bridge over the gap of misunderstanding our industry and we have hopefully put some trust into the lives of our consumers.

This idea is kind of scattered across the map but I think that it is a valid point that makes sense. So as agvocates, producers, consumers and human beings let's be sure to use our online farming to provide a good product (accurate information) as well as strengthen our products (meat, crops, byproducts, bio-products) so that everyone can understand and connect with the farmer once again.

So hopefully, instead of waking up and going to the gas station for coffee with the farmers I grew up with, hopefully I can drink some coffee and read the thoughts & ideas of my fellow farmers and friends here. Maybe this will open a new conversation point with other people in different social groups than my own. In any event I know that I am going to work my hardest to raise the best products I can for ALL consumers.