Laura Nielson is a born and raised cowgirl. She grew up on her family’s farm near Hartford, S.D., where the Nielsons raise 450 dairy cows, 400 replacement heifers and 3,000 acres of crops. At a young age, Nielson always knew she wanted to be a farmer. She loved being outdoors with the animals more than anything else in the world. Today, this 22-year-old is still on the farm, enjoying her passions for agriculture as she works alongside her dad and uncle at Nielson Farms.
One day, Nielson was looking up farming videos on YouTube. She typed in, “farm girl,” and discovered a list of videos by a teenage girl impersonating a farm girl, mocking real farm girls everywhere with her pig tails, big accent and far-fetched ideas about the agriculture industry. Nielson was offended by the videos and appalled that tens of thousands of individuals had watched the videos. So last spring, Nielson created, “therealfarmgirl,” channel on YouTube, an online social video playing network. She aims to post two or three videos per week to help educate the world’s consumers about where their food comes from.
Link here to connect to The Real Farm Girl YouTube Channel and watch this awesome video!
YouTube is just one of the many ways to connect with producers and consumers online. MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and blogs have all become mainstream means for communication. According to the 2007 Agriculture Census, only 57 percent of farm operations have internet access; however, Nielson wants producers to understand that online communication is the present, not the future, and it’s time agriculture embraces it.
“I try to be as real as possible when I make my videos,” explained Nielson. “Sometimes that means my hair is a disaster, and I have manure all over me. Of course, this isn’t usually the way you would want to video yourself, but I decided that I want people to be able to see the real face of a farmer. Maybe next time a consumer reads a negative article about agriculture, they will think of that young girl they saw on YouTube, instead of believing the lies.”
BEEF Daily Quick Fact: Nutrients that are found in beef contribute to optimal growth, cognitive function, red blood cell development and prevent iron deficiency during the adolescent years. (Source: Debunking Beef Myths)