Worth More Than 1,000 Words

Wednesday, December 9, 2015 - 2:43pm

Jessica Wharton

AFBF Communications

‘Tis the season for agritourism—horse-drawn carriages, countryside views and of course, social media pictures capturing the scenery and bustling activity of holidays on the farm. Consumer interest in agriculture, especially during the fall and winter, provides farmers and ranchers a unique opportunity to connect with non-ag consumers like never before. It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words, but when that picture is shared online by a farmer or rancher, it can be worth a million “likes.”

As the holidays draw near, social media campaigns and hashtags, such as #ThankAFarmer, are a quick and easy way to educate people about where their food comes from and how it’s grown. The season offers unlimited options for engaging photos, from snow covering the fields to families sitting at the dinner table with the food they grew: Personal photos impact consumers. Sharing high-quality photos with informative or personal captions on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can increase followers as well as consumer trust. 

Photos are proven to be the most engaging type of content on Facebook, with an 87 percent interaction rate from fans, according to Social Media Examiner. And photos on Twitter can boost retweets by 35 percent. While followers might not always agree with the message attached to photos, they will always believe what they see with their own eyes.

Knowing that consumers believe the stories farmers and ranchers tell, especially when supplemented with “behind-the-scenes” looks at everyday life on the farm and real-times photos, is key to creating meaningful connections and constructive dialogues about agriculture. As the gap between urban and rural lifestyles widens, it’s crucial that everyone involved in agriculture advocates for ag and connects farm to food for consumers.

This year, the American Farm Bureau, in conjunction with the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture, is hosting a photo contest to accurately portray today’s agriculture and the safe practices of farmers and ranchers. With four submission categories – Farm Families, Farm Labor, Technology and Consumer Outreach – holidays on the farm are an ideal time to snap a few pictures that resonate with consumers. For more information on how to register and to view the contest rules and regulations, visit the 2015 Farm Bureau Photo Contest webpage at http://www.fb.org/programs/photocontest/.

The holidays are the perfect opportunity to connect with consumers and start real conversations about food and where it comes from. Whether sharing photos though the Farm Bureau photo contest or on social media, each photo is worth much more than just a thousand words.

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