American Farmers Are Growing a YouTube Following

Old MacDonald had a… vlog? These farmers are harvesting the power of YouTube to supplement their income and educate viewers about where their food comes from. 👩‍🌾🎥

Youtubers reflecting the struggles of the rural economy

Some American farmers make more money advocating for the industry on social media than they do from their farms. YouTube can be profitable for farmers, too. Suzanne Cook (WT Farm Girl) and Josh (The Stoney Ridge Farmer) are documenting their experience as first-generation farmers. Their experience also reflects the struggles of the rural economy as the number of U.S. farms has declined by more than 3% between 2012 and 2017 according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Pretty much for me, Youtube is the equivalent of running a part time job, just a little bit more than the minimum wage. The income from YouTube is taken from YouTube and put right back into the farm so that more people can see what's going on. Time and time again as we continue to build the farm YouTube continues to build the farm. I started making YouTube videos just to help teach people and show people what was going on the farm, the real work behind this. How to work on equipment like this or how to grow, you know, a garden like this, how to raise chickens and that's kind of how all this got started. So, one person learns about it and that person shares it, and two people and then four and then six and then — you know, it's just amazing how the community has grown around this small farm here. We are learning but that's the beauty of YouTube is that you can get that positive feedback and those positive suggestions from people,” says Youtube Farmer Josh Draper.

YouTube is the most popular social media platform in rural communities. 59% of residents are using it, according to a Pew Research Center survey based on data from Pew Research. Both farmers have racked up thousands of subscribers. Basically, the way it works is like with normal TV you have commercials that run and even like you don't realize it. Every time an ad runs on your channel every time someone clicks on the ad and especially if someone buys a product from the ad then you earn commission from all of that stuff.