If you’re more comfortable feeding cattle than using the Internet, then words like tweetup, hashtag, tiny url and vlog might seem like a foreign language to you. Yet, farmers and ranchers across the country are putting these words to use on a daily basis, working hard to promote agriculture from their remote locations in rural America.
Now there’s one more vocabulary word these agricultural advocates (agvocates) are putting to good use -- the “felfie.”
Now what the heck is a felfie?
A felfie is a “farmer selfie,” and you might have noticed that the “selfie” has become quite popular these days. These are photos of people taken of themselves on their smartphones and posted online – things like a good hair day, making funny faces with their kids, and kissing their dogs, just to name a few examples.
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If you’re rolling your eyes and thinking the felfie sounds like a complete waste of your time, I hope you’ll give it a chance. It’s actually a pretty cool way to promote agriculture on social media with just one simple picture. And, the best part is you don’t have to look great doing it! Your coveralls, stocking cap, fogged up glasses and some cows in the background make a perfect felfie!
Wisconsin dairy farmer Carrie Mess recently wrote about the felfie, and her thoughts were featured in The Guardian recently.
Mess writes, “According to market research, more than half of farmers today are rocking smart phones. Those phones have cameras, and if we have learned anything from Hollywood, a camera means you must take photos of yourself. A camera with an Internet connection means you must take selfies. While the felfie seems to have started in the UK, (farmingselfie.com) it's becoming a popular trend in America and beyond.
“The felfie provides what many urban people are searching for: a view of where their food starts. The felfie isn't just a product of having smart phones, it's also a product of having an all-consuming job where you are mostly working alone. Snapping a photo of yourself doing something interesting to share with the world creates a fun and helpful circle for farmers to share what they love doing with others who are passionate about food and the environment. Don't get me wrong, I love my cows – they are part of my family – but it's good to have some interaction with folks with opposable thumbs, too.
“As farmers continue to embrace technology – some of the latest moves include Wi-Fi and GPS in tractors and drones above fields to check crops – nobody should be surprised to see the 2% of our population that grows our food pop up in our social media feeds. I encourage you to do a search on Instagram or Twitter for #felfie and connect with some of the farmers, ranchers and agricultural professionals that are out there. Not only will you get to see a view that's different from your own neighborhood, you'll find a source of information as close to the dirt your food is grown in as you can get.”
Also, if you’ve already jumped on the felfie bandwagon, I would love to see your best shots. Email them to me at email@example.com. I will be compiling a photo gallery of felfies and hope to include one of you doing what you do best on your ranch. We may have some prizes up for grabs in the future for best felfie, and we might even use the most funny or creative for an upcoming photo caption contest! Stay tuned for more details! And thanks for your participation!
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