Creating Content That Farmers Will Dig
You don’t have to grow up on a farm to write articles relevant to farmers. Although some material in agriculture magazines is written by experts in the field, like many publications, they often rely on freelance writers for part of their content. If you’re not an expert, however, always get your information from authoritative sources. Farmers may work from dawn to dusk during seasonal peaks, but they also take time to read about the latest news and relevant shifts in agriculture practices to help them improve their way of life. You should research trending agriculture topics that farmers want to know more about and ensure your content is appealing or you’ll quickly lose their interest.
Cultivate Expert Sources
Farmers rely on content that’s up-to-date with reliable information they can use in their daily operation. It’s not difficult to find experts in just about any agriculture field and many are more than willing to pass along the pertinent information you need for an informative article or blog. You should never put your byline on an article you aren’t 100% sure of its accuracy, so always cultivate expert sources to back up your information. You’ll discover a lot of background information and topic ideas from the Internet, but don’t rely strictly on this information. Websites aren’t always regularly updated, so information could be outdated or inaccurate. Don’t be afraid to consult with agriculture experts, which ensures your information is timely, authoritative and more appealing to your farming audience.
You can sift through 100s of online pages looking for the answers to specific questions or save time by talking with an expert. You should discover sources who specialize in specific fields and can supply more in-depth knowledge than you’ll find using online sources alone. Plus, live sources typically have more entertaining stories. Try to cultivate a list of expert sources covering various topics within government agencies, agricultural associations, college and university agriculture departments and established farmers with proven techniques. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is an excellent source of information and provides a page with links to agriculture departments by state.
When talking with any expert, never pretend you know more about the topic you’re discussing than you actually do, especially if you know very little or nothing at all. Not only could you get lost in the conversation and lack the appropriate information to competently complete your assignment, you could also misunderstand the data and pass on incorrect information. Most experts are used to talking with those not familiar with the subject matter and willingly explain things in great depth when required. You’ll discover that many experts enjoy providing detailed information on topics they love and you may actually suffer from information overload.
Sow Crops of Topics
If you’re new to agriculture writing, you may want to focus your content on basic crop and livestock information for beginning farmers; so you can learn as they learn. Later, search the Internet for “trending farming topics” to see what’s currently making the news. You can create content that farmers will dig that covers a wide variety of topics and issues, such as:
- New or better ways of propagating specific crops or raising certain livestock
- Modern methods of pest or disease control
- New diseases or illnesses cropping up or old ones making a comeback
- New twists on sustainable practices
- Legislature that affects any aspect of farming
- Alternative crops or livestock
- Consumer demand
- Unique marketing aspects
- Farmland controversies
- Trends and technology beneficial to farming
- And many more
The USDA is one of the best resources of accurate agriculture information. Their website provides you with essential crop content with a plethora of resources and crop production data including maps, charts, production reports and market news. It also provides information and resources for a wide variety of animal and livestock topics through their National Agricultural Library with coverage including traditional and alternative livestock, aquaculture, entomology, health-related topics and more.
Marketing aspects is another pertinent content area. Older farmers, especially, may feel a little uncomfortable embracing the digital age and modern marketing strategies. Farmers who don’t sell their products in bulk for commercial processing and distribution rely on sales to local individuals and businesses. Content covering potential markets reachable through the Internet and various technology apps in easy to understand language is invaluable to help farmers modernize their advertising. The USDA is also a valuable source of diverse marketing strategies including statistics, import and export policies, consumer behaviors and assistance programs.
Offer New Solutions
Being a farmer isn’t just a career choice, it’s a lifestyle choice. If you create engaging, authoritative content with new solutions to common problems or tips to modernize practices that appeals to agriculture producers, then you can break into a new writing market. By branching out into alternative topics, you’ll also discover a less competitive writing market and content that appeals to smaller, hobby farmers who can’t afford to compete with larger farming operations.
5-Star writer Moira M has been actively writing since 1999 including freelance, contract and staff positions. She has served stints as a staff reporter for both a daily and a weekly newspaper; contract writer for numerous trade publications; freelance writer for newsletters, newspapers, magazines, trade publications and a variety of online publications.
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