farmNwife

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Tag: agriculture

Farm Business Website – Potential Ag

Matt BoucherMatt Boucher was a featured farmer for his blog awhile back. I have asked him back to talk about his ag business website. Potential Ag

1. Why did you think you needed a website for your farm business?

That’s a great question.  My main reason to have a web site for my seed business is to increase communication and to covey accurate information quickly and efficiently to my customer base and beyond.  The seed business, especially during the growing season, is constantly changing and adapting to current conditions.  This site helps me keep my customers up to date and informed. Continue Reading

Brings Farm Life to Classroom

Lauren contacted me about being a Featured Farmer Wannabe. So I said lets do it.Lauren

Her farm blog is Paint The Town Ag. Take a look.

 

1. Tell a little about you and your operation.
 
Our family farm is located in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, specifically in Lacey Spring, Virginia. We raise 5 houses of chickens (broilers) for Georges, Inc. We also have a 475 head commercial cow/calf operation to raise Angus and Angus-cross cattle; we just completed a state-of-the-art feed yard that will house approximately 200 cattle at a time. Our home farm is 300 acres, and we rent an additional 2,000 acres for pasture and crops.

My husband, Brian, works the farm full time in a partnership with his father and brother. I am a preschool teacher in the public school system, and I am passionate about bringing agriculture to our class and our school. Every Friday is “Farm Friday” in our class, in which we explore agriculture topics that relate to our theme. We also host community members that come to talk about agriculture. This influence in the curriculum leads up to an outdoor April event at our school when the farm comes to school, called “Farming in the City.” I designed this event to showcase elements of agriculture for the school, including packets for each class that have accurate-ag books, grade-specific agriculture lessons, and other fun agriculture items!

2. What made you want to start your blog?


I want to have a positive impact on my community while spreading the word about agriculture. It started as an idea to promote and share agriculture lessons for teachers, but I realized that it could potentially be much more than that. I love to write, and so the AGvocating posts and Sunday Salt posts fill that creative niche for me.

3. What has been the biggest surprise since you started? or something you didn’t expect:


I can’t believe how fast the blog has taken off; the amount of visitors, facebook shares, and comments. I realize that there is a home for me in the AGvocating world, and I’m glad to share our story.

4. What is your favorite post and why?
 
I have two favorite posts, for different reasons. The Sunday Salt [a new life] showcases an event on the farm that not many people know about. It’s a way to share the farm in relation to the greater story of Hope.
The second favorite is farm + fashionista , which is a comical take on my daily life and the misconceptions that people can have about farmers.

5. What obstacles have you met and how did you overcome them?

  

The greatest obstacle for me is how to fit everything in. I teach full time, “mom” full time, farm when I can and then blog when I can. It makes life interesting, to say the least, but I find satisfaction in knowing that I can do my part in helping others understand agriculture, therefore (hopefully) helping out my children and other future generations.

Follow Lauren here:

Twitter: @PaintTheTownAG

Instagram: l_arbogast

The Facebook: Lauren Hartzler Arbogast

Smart SEO Strategy

smart seo strategySEO Update Info Here

Let’s admit it. Most farm blogs are small potatoes when it comes to the internet blogosphere. How can we compete with all the internet marketers promising riches or wikipedia or even Huffington Post. The good news is, we are not competing with those sites. We are wanting to attract readers who are looking for the information that we provide. So, to get those readers we’ll have to be smart about using SEO. Right?

What do I mean by smart?

Remember in a previous post I talked about using the right words in our titles that had a higher search volume than other words. Well, this time we are talking about being realistic with which words or terms we can actually rank for. If our site doesn’t show up on the first page of the search, it’s very unlikely to be found. My intention with this post is to increase the chances of our sites showing up on the first page.

Let’s say the term Agriculture is what we want to rank for in google. It applies to our ag blogs. Right? At the time of this writing, agriculture has been searched 2.7 million monthly local times. Not a bad number. It would be nice to get a piece of that. But to even touch that word you would have to smack down the likes of USDA, wikipedia, agriculture.com, and look there even the Huffington Post.

Now it is not impossible to over come those behemoths. It would take a long time ( years) and about every title would have to have “agriculture” in it.

So let’s be smart about this. If it’s a broad term it is very hard to rank high in the search engines because so many others are using it also.

What to do?

We will be looking to rank for specific phrases. Also called long tail keywords.  These specific phrases have fewer searches but it is much easier to rank higher for them. Thus more likely to be on the first search page and get more click throughs. Think of it like this: Do you want to be a little fish in a big pond or a big fish in a little pond.

Let me give an example: I have a post titled “Make Hay While the Sun Shines“. It used to be on the first page of google (’til Pioneer Woman put up a post on FoodNetWork with the title and knocked me out. She’s not the only reason but it’s fun to blame her.) In the summer I would get a decent amount of traffic for that term. Why? Because it was a specific phrase, low competition from other sites, but there was still a number of people searching for it. At this time this term gets 1000 searches per month.

The choice is do we want nothing out of 2.7 million or something out of 1000?

Here’s the Strategy Part

Use keyword tool to choose the best words. Decide the phrase you want to rank for. Then use it

  1. in the post title
  2. throughout the body of the post
  3. in a header
  4. in the description and alt text of image in post
  5. Link to it from other posts

Depending on the competition for the term, we should rank fairly high. Don’t forget to link to it with in your social media accounts. And like I said before, you don’t have to go through all this for every post. But why not give that extra little effort for the posts that you put more time and thought into. We can turn small potatoes into awesome fries.


Blog Gives Community

This blogger definitely has a heart for helping people understand the how and why behind raising food animals.

1. Tell a little about you and your operation.

I’m a 23-year-old farm girl living life in the Midwest. I graduated with a B.S. in Animal Sciences in December, 2010; and shortly thereafter started work as a Uncharted Rhoaderesearch specialist for the University I graduated from. At work I’m in charge of 24 pregnant gilts (pigs that haven’t had piglets yet) and then I come home and help my husband manage our small beef cattle herd. I grew up in 4-H and FFA and realized from a young age that I had an immense passion for agriculture and farm animals. My husband works my father-in-law on the farm full time, and they also have a couple of small swine nursery barns.

 

2. What made you want to start your blog?

I started out my college education in Agricultural Journalism, but fell in love with the Animal Science department after taking just one class and switched over. I’ve always loved writing (even if I’m not that talented). It’s forever been my goal to combine writing with my passion for agriculture, and help educate others about the industry. After graduation when I didn’t have a job right away I started writing to pass the time. I just wanted to share the facts and tell our story.

 

3. What has been the biggest surprise since you started? or something you didn’t expect:

Probably the most surprising thing I’ve found since I started blogging is the sense of community I have found in the comments people have left on my posts. Some of the topics I write about can be controversial due to their nature, however even people from other walks of life have shared their experiences thanked me for sharing my viewpoint.

 

4. What is your favorite post and why?

 My favorite post to date would have to be the one I wrote on “Raising Food Animals”. Thanks to a blogger friend who shared the link on Facebook, that post received lots of view, fast. It was a little overwhelming to me; the people who commented were extremely thankful and gracious. I was simply setting out to answer the question of how I can raise animals with the intended purpose of slaughter, but it became about more, about telling the story of people like me.

 

5. Where do you get your ideas?

I get my ideas from reading posts written by other bloggers, from controversial topics that come up in the news surrounding agriculture, and from my everyday life on the farm. Honestly, this is one of the hardest parts of blogging for me. Especially as of late, with gaining more readers, I feel that my content needs to be interesting and worth reading. I’m still trying to find the write balance of every-day-life posts and agricultural-topic posts. 


Links: Blog: Uncharted Rhoade

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThisUnchartedRhoade

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/UnchartedRhoade


Communicating About Ag

At Garrett’s farm they have an “open gate” policy, where customers are welcome to visit the farm anytime.  He has just started a new blog about his farm experiences.

1. Tell a little about you and your operation.Garrett Steede
I guess I’ll introduce myself! I’m Garrett Steede a 2010 Animal and Dairy Sciences graduate from Mississippi State University.  I am in school at Mississippi State University completing my Master’s degree in Agricultural and Extension Education.  I grew up in the 4-H and FFA program showing market hogs, market goats, and Registered Limousin cattle.  I am extremely grateful to my parents for raising me in the livestock industry as my involvement in it completely shaped my future and my career plans.
Our family farm is comprised of row crops, commercial cattle, feeder pigs, and vegetables.  My family started the first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program in the state of Mississippi and now my father,  a retired county Extension agent for MSU, speaks to others in the state about starting their own C.S.A’s.  We currently have about 100 members along the Mississippi and Alabama gulf coast.  We also offer custom feeding of hogs and cattle.

2. What made you want to start your blog?
 I am extremely passionate about communicating and educating others about Agriculture.  My dream is to complete my Ph.D. in Agricultural Communications and I thought that blogging and tweeting about agriculture was  a great way to get me started in communicating about agriculture outside of my work and school experience to further prepare me for a doctoral program.

3. What has been the biggest surprise since you started? or something you didn’t expect:
Coming up with blog topics is getting to be difficult already, especially since my blog is focused toward the beef industry and not just agriculture in general.  I will be trying to direct my posts toward the harvest, fabrication, and retailing sector of the beef industry in the future since I have a strong background in that area, having been involved in meats judging and meats quiz bowl while in college.  I am also a member of the American Meat Science Association.

4. How would you encourage other farmers to be active online?
 The best thing a farmer can do is tell his or her story.  Tell your story in pictures and tell your story in words.  Researchers in Agricultural Education and Communications at Texas A&M recently did a study that showed that visual images often tell a different story than the words that accompany them.  It is important that if you are going to show pictures of your operation that they are not being misconstrued as something that they’re not.  The vast majority of young, influential people get their information from social media.  Tell your story there and share other peoples’ stories there.

5. What obstacles have you met and how did you overcome them?
I am a huge supporter of commercial food production; however my family is involved in the locally produced food movement. This sometimes develops a conflict of interest between my parents, our customers, and me! My parents sometimes like to keep me away from the customers because I love to tell the true story of commercial food production and they are afraid I’ll drive our customers away!
I guess I haven’t been blogging long enough to really encounter any obstacles in that aspect.  I’m just here to tell agriculture’s story.  I wouldn’t say that I’m doing anything new or exciting in the area of Agricultural Advocacy, I’m just doing my part by telling the story of the beef cattle industry.

You can follow me on twitter at @thecattlegap and read my blog posts at thecattlegap.blogspot.com
I can be contacted at thecattlegap@gmail.com
You can also visit my family’s farm website at steedefarms.com