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March 10, 2014 | About WhatFarmingIs.com
For Contributors: Sharing Your Stories On WhatFarmingIs.com
Voicing your perspective on a website built by farmers and other ag-professionals can improve your visibility, and give consumers a strong, central resource to see what farming is.
March 10, 2014 | About WhatFarmingIs.com
For Contributors: Sharing Your Stories On WhatFarmingIs.com
Voicing your perspective on a website built by farmers and other ag-professionals can improve your visibility, and give consumers a strong, central resource to see what farming is.

The goal of this website is to create literacy and empathy by introducing consumers to the richness and complexity of the agricultural community. In other words, consumers really need to know who and where their food comes from, and nobody can tell the story of agriculture better than people who live it day-to-day: farmers and their families, agribusiness people, academics, college students, 4H/FFA, etc.

To request an account, which is completely free, e-mail me at Michael@WhatFarmingIs.com. Once you choose a username and password, you'll be granted publishing privileges, and be given your own homepage, which is a collection of all of the articles you've written, headed with a bio. As an example, you can view my profile.

Each article you write will begin with a short 1-3 sentence personal summary, and link to your complete profile.

Your homepage and each of your articles will include social media links to share content with your followers on Facebook and Twitter; share links for other social networks can be made available upon request. At the foot of each article, there will be one row of links for more stories by you, and another row for stories elsewhere on the website. Having a lot of contributors means that readers can have variety, which can help draw more readers for everyone.

When a reader clicks the social media sharing link, a link to the article and a preview will be automatically generated. This includes the title, your main image, and a 1-3 sentence summary.

&#qRead More&#q links help steer readers toward more of your stories, but also to submissions from other contributors.

Why Is This Better Than A Blog?

If you already have a loyal following at your blog elsewhere on the internet, great! But if you're just starting off, or if you want to promote yourself even more, consider the value of a community where everybody is writing about agriculture for a consumer audience. A central resource with interesting content coming from all realms of agriculture will be easier to promote on a larger scale than a collection of personal blogs. Audiences like variety and consistency– it's easier to ask them to meet us all in one place, than for them to subscribe to a bunch of personal blogs.

Quality And Frequency: Realistically, almost nobody can crank out a developed, high quality article every single day. That's a big part of why newspapers and magazines have many contributors. Every new contributor at WhatFarmingIs.com improves our ability to have a steady publishing frequency, and maintain high quality content, all while allowing everyone to contribute at their own pace.

Exposure: Your profile page can be promoted on your own terms, just as you'd promote a blog, but here, your articles will also be part of a larger collection of content, all geared toward introducing consumers to agriculture. 

Tech Support: I personally designed the website from the ground-up, so if you run into trouble or want to make recommendations, I'm a phone call away, whereas with a publishing service like BlogSpot or Wordpress, you get what you get, whether you like it or not.

Wait, will I get paid? Someone's getting paid, right?

WhatFarmingIs.com is completely non commercial: programmed by me, and built by all of us. There will never be ads or press releases on this website, only posts by people who are in-field or in school. Grant funding is a future consideration, especially in the event that the responsibilities of managing this website balloon outside of my comfort zone. 

I first started developing this website to showcase my own stories from my experience with agriculture, but then it dawned on me that I shouldn't be the only voice, that farmers who speak up could be a lot more organized, and that it wouldn't take all that much more work to scale-up the guts of the website to allow more people to contribute.

Ultimately, I see myself making more of a living from producing media, not generating my income directly from this website, although I promise to be an active steward and promoter of anything you contribute to WhatFarmingIs.com. I honestly care that people know who you are and what you do, and I'm invested in seeing this through. 

If some day I feature you or your family in a commissioned project, you can bet you will be compensated for your time, but until then, let's do this because it needs to be done.

If you want to learn more about contributing, e-mail Michael@WhatFarmingIs.com

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Prospective Contributors

Contributing to a publication that is built by people involved in agriculture can improve your visibility, and give consumers a central resource to see what farming is. Think of it as a no-dues promotional cooperative.

Media Inquiries

There's an ever-expanding collection of compelling stories about agriculture. Put our knowledge and storytelling ability to use, and excite consumers about where food comes from.

Questions About Agriculture

Lay it on us: what are you curious about? If we don't have an answer right away, we'll find somebody who does, and maybe feature the answer in our Ask A Farmer series.

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