Why are farmers so secretive? I’ll ask them at 9.30

There is a dark side of dairying that is hidden from the average milk drinker.” – RSPCA

“Do you want to know a secret?…next week Animals Australia is going to do some advertising of their own, only this time, they’re letting people in on a little secret — the dark side to dairy that they *won’t* tell you about in their ads. Click here to download the new ad, or sit back and watch this video to discover the truth” – Animals Australia

Actually, we don’t talk much about ourselves unless there’s a drought or a flood and I’ve got a golden opportunity to find out why. From 9.30 this morning (Sydney Australia time) I’ll present a webinar to the Future Focused AgOz conference and ask the farmers there about the hurdles they see to farm blogs and will report back to you.

In the meantime, if you write, or read Australian farm blogs, please do share them with us on Twitter at @milkmaidmarian.

One farm blogger, Fiona Lake, reckons there are few Aussie blogs written by full-time farmers and has an explanation:

“It’s much harder to locate well-explained rural blogs written by people running fulltime agribusinesses, long-term – with information on the nitty-gritty facts of large scale farming and livestock raising, environmental and agribusiness issue discussions. (Full time) farmers work long hours most or all days of the week and are generally exhausted when they knock off. So naturally it’s hard to find any hands-on fulltime farmers dedicated enough to voluntarily spend some of their scant spare time, writing about what they do, for no other reason than to help people unfamiliar with the industry, understand how their food and fibre is grown and encourage thought on topical issues.”

Fiona’s certainly right but is that it? Are we all simply too pooped to tell our stories? I suspect there are other factors too and would love your thoughts.

4 Comments

Filed under Community, Farm, People, Random

4 responses to “Why are farmers so secretive? I’ll ask them at 9.30

  1. Hi there,
    I’ve summarised the barriers for farmers to participate in social media http://bit.ly/qGAlv3 from an #agchatoz night. Blogs are particularly hard because it’s more time intensive than Twitter – you must have a reason to continue… a story to tell… responses through comments.

    Like

    • milkmaidmarian

      Thanks very much, Sharon. That’s a really interesting list and overlaps with the one provided by the conference attendees quite a bit. Blogging looks quite daunting to many but I think that as farm blogs become more common, many of those fears will lessen.

      Like

  2. Ron Paynter

    It’s a big commitment to keep a blog going, when you are busy farming and doing the other things that farms always do, CFA, sports clubs, primary school volunteering, farmer organisation work etc. Hats off to you for your commitment.

    Our version of being open is actively engaging with, and encouraging visitors to our farm, from doctors in training, through Uni students to farm day families and bus loads of overseas tourists and lots of others. This works for me because it is in short intense bursts, I’m comfortable talking to groups of people about the farm and the industry, and I can bounce on to the next project after they drive out the gate. Must do a reasonable job, we get lots of revisits and referrals.

    Like

    • milkmaidmarian

      Good point, Ron. There are certainly more ways than one to skin a cat and it’s great that you’ve found a way to connect with people that suits you. You’re bridging the divide in a way that I can’t and which I admire no end. Hats off to you! Whichever medium we choose to engage with other Australians needs to be comfortable and manageable (which is why I choose to blog as I only have short daily snatches of time).

      Like

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