About the Author
  • Brenda Frketich is a third generation farmer from St. Paul, Oregon. She has been farming full time since 2006 and currently manages her family's 1000 acre farm. They raise grass seed, hazelnuts, crimson clover, wheat, vegetable seeds and peas. She grew up on the farm but never thought that farming was what would be her future. She left her small town to Los Angeles to get a degree in Business. But after years of city living she realized farming was in her blood. Brenda is very involved in many parts of her industry and community. She is a volunteer Firefighter and EMT in her small town. She is involved in Farm Bureau, is a Clover Commissioner, and always tries to find new ways to bridge the gap between her urban neighbors and her rural life of farming. One of the ways she does this is through this blog, and also her personal blog, www.Nuttygrass.com Brenda is married to Matt Frketich who has also recently started farming with her. They also have a son, Hoot, and old hunting dog, Diesel and farm dog Yukon.
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Social Media and Farming

by Brenda_Frketich on ‎01-30-2014 11:11 AM

Why is social media so important to the farming and ranching industry?  I often ask myself this question, usually it's at 10pm, I'm completely exhausted, I'm out of ideas of what to write about, but I know that I have a blog post tomorrow.  So why, why bother putting yourself and your farm out there for the world to see?

 

I'm sure that the reasons are very different for why people do or don't blog about their farms and ranches.  It's a personal thing to put yourself out there and express the realities of what we're doing on our land.  For me though I think the phrase that struck most powerfully was when I heard someone say, "If you're not at the table for the conversation, then you're probably on the menu."  And I realized that while I can't be there for conversations that happen everyday with people from all different backgrounds, maybe I can provide a space where they can come and ask questions, or read up on what we're about here on our farm.

 

Farmers are less than 2% of the population, yet our job is to feed 100% population.  That difference in percentage, that is where the real challenge begins for us farmers.  For me, blogging and writing is something that comes fairly easy to me, and I like doing it, enough that it's worth making time for and in the long run I think that my years of blogging ultimately continue to payoff.  But I think many people who aren't in our industry seem to assume, is that if we're not out there, if we're not telling our story, then we have something to hide.

 

It's true that if you Google how animals are treated on ranches or in feedlots, you won't get a pretty picture.  But is that because that is the reality, or is that because those who are out to destroy an industry have more time on their hands than those ranchers who truly are out there doing the right thing?  Personally as a farmer, as someone who knows hundreds of people in this industry I don't think that the internet is the reality when it comes to many things that are are criticized in farming and ranching.  I will be the first to tell you that farming and ranching is hard work.  And quite frankly, if writing and blogging was a huge burden on me, I wouldn't be out there talking about our farm either.  Not because we are doing things that are bad, but because I just don't have the time. 

 

I corrected someone on a post about animal cruelty the other day on facebook.  I was nice about it, and just told them that what they were representing and telling the public just wasn't true.  I said nothing about being a farmer, nothing about being a rancher.  They came back telling me that I must raise animals, that I should take a good look at my job, that I should find a new job because I was an idiot.  This is the kind of stuff that just really frustrates me, because all I was trying to do was give them and their followers just a little more accurate information, and instead I was personally accused of not being smart and basically being OK with abusive behavior (which they didn't seem to concerned about when they respondent to me abusively). 

 

I guess what I'm getting at with all of this, is that as farmers and ranchers that do blog, we do represent not just our own farms but a large group of the industry.  Although there are more people who have time on their hands to go around and talk bad about us, that doesn't mean that they have any idea what the realities of our business are.  Here are a few blogs that I like to keep up with, people who write about their farms, who are talented, who I believe represent what ag in this country is truly about.

Agirulture Proud

Oregon Green

The Adventures of Dairy Carrie

Rural Route 2

Chris Chinn