*For today's post, I asked blogger Janice Person (@JPLovesCotton) to share some of her favorite agricultural websites. Janice was born and raised a "city girl" but ended up taking her first job within the agriculture industry after receiving a journalism degree. Her blog, jplovescotton.wordpress.com, details her adventures within the agriculture.*
It sounds like a simple question – what are your favorite agricultural websites / online resources? When Kathy asked if I’d write it, I thought that sounded fairly easy. Then I’ve given it more thought. And still more thought. There are so many great ones.
Luckily I was reminded there is no reason to wait for perfection in blogging but rather use it as a discussion so I’m sure I’ll remember some that I can’t believe I left out of here and other readers will have ideas to add… and through that process it will definitely get better.
I’ve decided to focus on blogs that tell the stories straight from the farm itself. No filter. And while I was asked for a top 10, there is absolutely no way to rank these. My post has a stream of consciousness version.
· Martin Family Farms – I have chatted with Doug Martin a couple of times on Twitter. His blog is a way to see what’s happening in a short, easy to access format. He routinely has taught me a simple fact or two. And since he puts an occasional photo of the family up as well, it helps remind you that there are real faces to the plate.
· Dust on the Dashboard – Kansas farmer Glenn Brunkow has a way of putting his thoughts together that grab my attention with virtually every post. He will write about the things you talk about when driving around a farm in a pickup or visiting at the tailgate.
· Pond Seed Company – Fred Pond was one of my early Twitter connections I made in real life and I love how he uses his company’s Facebook page to keep folks up-to-date with what’s happening in northwest Ohio. He combines field information from his farm with various resources he finds on the internet and passes things along to farmers in his area.
· Griggs, Dakota – Farm News From Our Family Fields – This blog is updated almost daily and almost always has great visuals. I think they may be the only farmers I know growing pinto beans on a broad scale. I’m intrigued to see what all they will have going on in the winter because if I was in North Dakota, I’d be a hermit, but I bet they are busy then too!
· Agriculture Proud is an effort by Ryan Goodman, a recent college graduate who’s working at a feedlot. Ryan started the project as a hashtag on Twitter so various folks could share their pride and it’s grown to include a blog and Facebook page. He does a great job of encouraging others to share.
· Wag’n Tails is a blog that Val Wagner launched September 1, 2010 after attending the AgChat Foundation’s first training conference. She’s got the innate ability to tell a story, draw pictures with words that you can’t learn at a conference but she says the how to & confidence building helped. Hearing or reading her stories of raising four boys on the family farm definitely helps me!
· FarmFresh is Kelly Whatley’s blog. While Kelly and I haven’t met, I feel like I know her. The biggest connection point is cotton but with a connection point like that, the connections grow! Yes, we know people in common, share the same excitement when pickers or planters begin to roll, etc.
· Weeks Enterprises, Inc. A Five Generation Family Farm – My friend Ryan Weeks keeps us up to date on what happens on his farm through Facebook. I love that he’s playing with video a little bit more and that you get to know his kids a bit too!
· I Love Farmers, They Feed My Soul – This was the first agricultural group I joined that grew virally and continues to grow at an incredible pace. The team – students and recent grads of Cal-Poly all of whom have an ag connection or interest – encourages people to share their stories on the page. I’ve got several of their t-shirts, etc and frequently post photos to share in the buzz of lovin’ farmers!
· Walking the Off-Beaten Path, Lana has great snippets and stories about life on the farm. She frequently will share a laugh with her readers, and is glad to have people laugh along with her as she learns a new lesson.
That’s 10 of the farmer-written or farmer-hosted pages I find interesting on a regular basis. I have a lot more and have posted a long list on my personal ag blog. If it’s okay, I’d also like to mention my company’s blog, Beyond the Rows, I contribute to on occasion.
Thanks Kathy for the chance to so this! I could go on and on about the farmers out here on the net having great conversations with other farmers and people like me who depend on them. I could go on for days!