Back in October, I took us to three different farmers and ranchers who share their story of Agriculture through blogs and social media. This week I want to continue this “Farm Tour“ by featuring Sam Wildman. Sam is an 8th generation family farmer from Clark County, Ohio where his family raises swine. Enjoy this post and be sure to visit Sam through the links listed below. Want to have your farm blog featured in this series? Send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to find out how!
Where are you located?
We are located in Clark County Ohio. Sometimes people recognize Clark County because we we’re the birthplace of 4H. A. B. Graham (founder of 4H) grew up right here in our county. We are also located about twenty minutes from the Farm Science Review, which is a centerpiece for so many farmers across the country.
How did you and/or your family begin working in Agriculture?
I am the Eighth generation on the family farm. The family bought the land in 1814 from the state of Virginia. (The history goes entirely to deep for my knowledge as of right now). I have always been involved in the farm. 4H was a big part of my life as a child and I owe a lot of my personal skills to 4H. I was born and raised a “buckeye” and a “farm kid” and I will always remember my roots.
What do you enjoy most about your job/life being involved with Agriculture?
I enjoy meeting new people the most. Agriculture is such a big industry and there are so many different groups of people in agriculture, even across Ohio. I love learning about different types of agriculture, farming, and other businesses that people have thanks to agriculture. I’m very passionate about agriculture and I think it makes life easier to enjoy because I am always willing to talk about my industry.
What is one thing related to your respective work in Agriculture you wish consumers better understood?
My family owns a commercial pork production facility. There are so many things that I want to say in my answer to this question; however I think the hardest thing to understand is how safe our food products are, as well as how well the animals are treated, housed, fed and cared for. There is an extreme lack of understanding combined with preconceived ideas of our industry because of animal rights activist groups. I work hard every day to promote our products and promote the care we give our animals.
What motivated you to begin sharing your Agriculture story online?
When the Humane society of the United States (HSUS) moved into Ohio with legislation in 2008 issue 2 was born. The pork industry has been on the frontlines of negotiations with the HSUS from the beginning up to now with the continuation of the “Ohio compromise” or “Ohio agreement”. My father is a board member of the Ohio Pork Producers Council and sits on the swine subcommittee for the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board (OLSCB), when his involvement picked up with these things he said I should look into doing what I can to help. Now that I am in college I feel that I am able to do a lot better job at advocating for agriculture and I have a lot of support. So I would say that my father and the events taking place in Ohio have sparked my motivation to share my story of agriculture.
What is your advice to those who want to begin sharing their Agriculture stories online?
- Do some research. Read other blogs like Agproud as well as others in your area of interest to the ag industry. My ability to build cohesive thoughts and really dig into topics is largely due to my research from following other people and their stories.
- Start small, just start writing like a journal or diary and then once you feel comfortable pick a topic. Maybe there is something going on in your community that you want to speak your thoughts or minds about, just do it.
- Be sure you don’t try to slay anyone through your blog. Bottom line, you can’t kill people or change absolute opinion. It is much more productive to give another point of view to something that you may oppose. Everyone has options, and we can back up our option (ag proud) with truth, fact, and science.
What have you found to be successful when sharing your Ag story online?
- Asking for feedback has been a good way for me to discover topics to write about that some people might want to know how I feel about it.
- Twitter. Sharing your ag story online through blogs is great, twitter is my library of agriculture. Any information I need, want or want to share I can get on twitter. As an industry social media networks are a great resource for our industry. I use twitter as my way to connect to others in agriculture across the world, while I use facebook to spread my knowledge to my social network of friends from college, home, 4H and anything else.
Please describe the aim of your site. What do you write about most?
I spend a lot of time writing about the HSUS and the current topics in Ohio livestock agriculture which often return to the OLSCB and what is going on there. I like to update people on what is going on at college and how I am trying to agvocate within agriculture to my acquaintances because I know that we (college students) are the future of agriculture and I think it’s critical that we train our future leaders.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I would love for people with comments, questions concerns or just interest to visit my: Blog (Reflections From A Country Boy), Facebook page, Our family farm facebook page, And follow me on twitter (@farmboy09).