By Michael Edmondson, Marketing Project & Research Manager
Each of us is unique. We come from different places, work different jobs and enjoy different hobbies. But one thing that we all have in common is food.
As consumers of food, we want healthy and affordable food choices. We want to know that the fruits and vegetables we buy at the grocery store are fresh and clean. We want reassurance that the meats we choose come from healthy, well-cared for animals.
Although we would like to do so, you and I can’t visit every farm and ranch to see firsthand how our food is produced, and we certainly can’t get into every packing house and processing plant. A great deal of the food supply chain is off-limits to us, even though we keep it in business with our purchases.
Thanks to social media and the internet, though, that’s changing. We have unprecedented opportunities to learn more about the men and women who grow our food, and more importantly, how and why they do the things they do. That’s thanks in large part to the idea of transparency.
A 2016 study found that 92% of Americans believe it’s important to know where their food comes from and 68% said they believe they aren’t provided with enough of that information. By opening up themselves and their farms to consumers, farmers are providing that much-desired information. This transparency is building trust and influencing public perception.
Through Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, farmers across the country are letting followers see the daily work that goes into food production. About 98% of America’s farms are family owned and operated. Providing the public with a look into their operations puts a name and a face on their portion of the food production chain.
Many farms and farmers across Georgia are active on social media. Here are a few to check out:
Trevor Smith is a peanut, cotton and watermelon farmer in Coffee County. Through Twitter and Instagram, he offers a look at the farm, insights into what they do throughout the year, and shares his faith and love for family. Follow Trevor on Twitter.
Scott Fowler grows cotton, peanuts, soybeans and pecans in Colquitt County. Scott posts pictures and videos throughout the growing season. Follow him on Twitter.
Dickey Farms in Musella has been growing peaches for more than 120 years. Lee Dickey is the fifth generation to work the farm, and he shares pictures from around the operation on Instagram. Follow Lee on Instagram.
Warbington Farms is a Forsyth County family-run operation featuring u-pick strawberries in the spring, and agritourism opportunities (like a pumpkin patch and corn maze) throughout the year. Visit them on Instagram.
If you know of a Georgia farmer who is doing a great job sharing their work on social media, let us know in the comments!