30 Days: 3 Great Examples of “Thinking Outside the Farm”

I’m always amazed by the number of outstanding agriculture advocates on the web. Many are women who 3 Great Examples of Thinking Outside the Farm - AgChat.orgare the primary operators of their farms, moms, community volunteers and still take the time to advocate for agriculture by creatively blogging and utilizing social media. I would like to highlight three bloggers who have been resourceful and innovative in developing connections with those outside of agriculture.

Katie Oltoff of On the Banks of Squaw Creek

When I first arrived at On the Banks of Squaw Creek, I was immediately drawn to the photo of their home from many years ago. I absolutely relate to living in an old home and needed improvements, fixes, etc… My first stop was the link Our Little House. The fact that she was an active advocate for agriculture quickly slipped my mind. I pursued the photos relating to many of the changes and especially admiring her taste in decor, organization and a significant love of mine – reusing/repurposing old items.

Next, I moved to the link Secrets from a Teacher. Wow! She includes fantastic tips on parenting based on her experience as a teacher. I’ve already pinned these tips and intend to take a closer look. At this point I had a warm and fuzzy feeling about Katie and her blog. I felt connected through our similarities. I wanted to continue reading and connecting. I then see that they also have a farm and proceed to that area.

She shares their amazing story of opportunity and dreams, explaining the steps which were taken to become farmers. Then, she drops the bombshell. They farm 20,000 turkeys. For someone disconnected from farming and food, the reaction from the reader may be one with a gasp and warning signals. But, remember the warm, fuzzy feeling and connection with her blog? Despite how readers navigate through the site, Katie has done an exceptional job showing her authentic self and finding traits that will connect with non-ag eaters. She has built a case which shows that regardless of their farm size, they are people just like anyone else. Not a factory.

I admire Katie and truly believe she has found a successful recipe for connecting beyond the choir. Whats more, she has recently published a non-fiction children’s book called My Family’s Farm. It highlights turkey farming and through a partnership with Iowa Turkey Federation, she’s offering the printed version for Iowa kindergarten and 1st grade teachers…for free. Amazing!

Brandi from Lipstick and Tractors

I first ‘met’ Brandi at Christmas time last year. We were both involved in the Country Christmas gift swap Lipstick & Tractors feature on AgChat.orgwith women from all over the country. She was my secret santa and sent goodies from John Deere which happens to be in her backyard. She takes a different approach to advocating for agriculture and utilizes various swaps and reviews of beauty products as a way to connect with readers beyond ag.

Some of her most recent swaps involve Etsy, Swapoween and a Local Flavor Swap. Through a site called Chaotic Goodness Swaps, Brandi is connecting with many women from all walks of life. These swaps ultimately bring the lipstick together with the tractors, exposing many to agriculture.

She is doing a fabulous job and I only wish I had more time to participate in a swap or two, myself.

Nicole Small of Tales of A Kansas Farm Mom

In February of this year, Nicole initiated the County Fair blog party highlighting blogs post from three Examples of the link up at the County Fair Blog Party - AgChat.orgcategories – food, DIY and agriculture. Each week bloggers are invited to link their posts to the County Fair post which announces the winners from the previous week. This has proven successful in connecting with those out of agriculture while as providing numerous ways for those non-ag bloggers to connect to agriculture. Genesis!

The project has become so successful she has enlisted the help of other hosts such as Laurie Link of CountryLinked, Taysha from Dirt Road Charm, Danielle from High Heels and Shotgun Shells, Jamie of This Uncharted Rhoade, Caitlin of Belongs With Wildflowers and Jan of Tip Garden.

You would think this project was the highlight of Nicole’s blogging career however, she is also known for hosting a Flat Aggie project. In the 2013-2014 school year, Flat Aggie traveled to 22 different states, exploring soybeans, cattle, cotton, feed and flour mills, bees and honey, an ethanol plant, wheat, a robotic dairy, baby lima beans and more.

I love Nicole’s passion, energy and enthusiasm for promoting the agriculture industry!