Friday, February 18, 2011

Social Media, Farm Blogs and the Food Network

Evening sky from the cab of the tractor
This past week I was contacted by Jen O’Donnell from Intuitive Entertainment regarding a segment she was doing for The Food Network about adventurous and dangerous jobs in the food business. This will air on TV as a one hour special, divided into three segments and each segment will feature someone as they talk about their life, their work, and the audience will see their daily adventures in the food and farming industry.

The Farmer (Joe) checking the
wheat the day before harvest  is set to begin
For added interest, here are some of my favorite photos sprinkled throughout this blog.

The farmer's big boy toys, it takes a lot of equipment
to feed America
Jen said they had never done this kind of a feature before and felt it would be of great interest to their viewers. They were looking for farmers who burn their wheat stubble and Jen told me that she googled Idaho Farms and up came my farm blog! So after reading my blog, she called me. It truly was an honor for me to get to talk to Jen and it re-affirmed my thoughts that social media is an important tool for every farmer to tell our side of story. With the average American so far removed from the farm, people are interested in what we do. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, those of us that do this full time, are kind of a novelty to the rest of mainstream America. I explained to Jen that we do not burn our stubble and it was not a common practice anymore in this area, but we would contact her if we thought of someone who did. We said we used to burn wheat straw on some acreage in the early years of adopting no-till or direct-seed farming methods, but for us, it was a short term fix while finding the best methods to manage crop residue.

Spring work in 2010, getting ready to seed wheat

I went on to tell Jen about our Dinner on the Farm series and invited her and her production crew to come out during one of our dinners or really anytime for that matter. So Jen if you are reading this, you have an open invitation to our farm and our life on the farm. =)   The Food Network is on the right track with their 3 part segment and I can't wait to see it.

Dinner menu for Dinner on the Farm

The Farmer (Joe to the left) and guests in our garbanzo field   

Guests looking over some of
the equipment that farmers need

A day or two before my call with The Food Network, I was reading Country Living magazine that had a whole section about “haycations” and the fact that families will spend big bucks to spend a weekend on the farm learning where food comes from. I also read with interest in Sunset magazine about people taking “veggie vacations” where one herb-farm has guests work in the kitchen garden and on the farm, then it ends with a nine course meal. The rest of the article talked about how a new generation of people are getting into making their own jams/jellies and having chicken coops in their backyards.

The Farmer and I think this is wonderful and are excited to see more people start their own urban gardens and have chicken coops in their backyards, as it gives them a glimpse of what full time farmers do only on a larger scale.  They will get to experience first hand the ups and downs of raising crops and animals. So hats off to the segment of people who are striving to get back to their agriculture roots by either taking farm vacations and learning about where their food comes from, or by raising poultry and/or urban gardens.

As always, hope you enjoyed the blog and feel free to email me at

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