Updated: Oct 29
With the big push of Sweet Grown Alabama, the state's agricultural branding program, it's important now more than ever to brand your farm. Consumers want to know where their food comes from, who their local farmers are, and even the process behind the practice. In the digital age of social media, farmers are now able and willing to share these aspects with consumers, creating a true brand for their family farm.
In Jefferson County, the Nelson and Tate families have done just that. Armed with their social media expertise and handy smart phone, they are able to venture out on their respective farms sharing intimate moments with their followers. They share views of their beautiful rural landscapes, hidden gems that many urban and suburban dwellers forget Jefferson County has. They share their joy and pride of taking care of their cattle herd, chickens, and even bees. Additionally, the process of hay and forage is given a spotlight---a commodity that is very important to all farmers and even industrialists.
When asked why this social media movement is important, Jefferson County Young Farmers Chairman Evan Nelson said, "We live in a world of instant gratification. People need to see the process of farming and social media provides them with that instant need." Brooke Tate agreed adding, "We're also able to educate and be educated at the same time. We're able to learn different methods from other farmers, but also educate our own followers about safety, awareness and common misconceptions."
In addition to the educational aspects of social media, we are also privileged to see the genuine ups and downs. Some days are harder than others, but it's these moments where we can connect more and understand the give and take with being a farmer. It's these moments where Evan and Christy Nelson feel supported and encouraged each day by the community of farmers in their Instagram circle. Whether there is a tragic loss of a calf, crippling storm damage, or stunted equipment, their Instagram followers rally around to offer aide and encouragement.
"It's the support system, the vindication that you are doing something right and you're not alone in your struggles," Christy says. "Not only that," Brooke adds, "it's having just a community of support---a community of young farmers you can connect with that reminds you that it's all worth it in the end."
Farming may not be the job or lifestyle suited for just anyone, but with social media, farming is able to be kept in the forefront of everyone's mind. Social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook provide vital insights into the daily lives of our farmers from the process of farm to table, to having a real connection to our local farmers.
*You can follow Evan and Christy Nelson on instagram, www.instagram.com/nelsoncattleco
*You can follow Jeb and Brooke Tate on instagram, www.instagram.com/tate_farm
*Follow the Federatin's instagram for insight into many of our board members farms too, www.instagram.com/jeffcofarmers