Last week blogger and legendary mental health advocate Alison Fairleigh wrote a blog lamenting the demise of the rural blogger
Blogging can be very rewarding and people do it for many reasons. The live export debacle in 2010 was the launching pad for many rural bloggers passionate about telling the stories of agriculture that would mean the history of agriculture in Australia was not defined by its worst moments
This week I would like to reflect on why it is relatively easy to start with a bang and so hard to maintain the rage that ignited the passion in the first place.
Firstly, blogging takes a huge amount of time. I have no problem justifying that time because I find it cathartic and my supporters inspirational . As an advocate for change in the agriculture sector I am heartened that my blog has a significant following. 260 people have signed up to get an email when I write a blog post and my blogs have had more than 400,000 views. They have generated mainstream media stories. They have allowed me to attract many like-minded people in agriculture, get a clearer picture of the diversity of views in our sector, helped me identify the naysayers and I have even attracted a few “haters” who appear to live and breathe my demise.
I am constantly inspired by Winston Churchill and celebrate my enemies
Secondly Alison is right we do need an eclectic mix of rural bloggers sharing their stories and their opinions
I am a fan of dairy bloggers Milk Maid Marian and Montrose Dairy. Whilst Marian is maintaining the rage, Graeme hasn’t blogged for over 10 months despite the motivation to get back on the horse . I love quirky stories and Alison Germon writes a blog that often makes me smile.
Ali’s tag line says “Dairy famer, mother, sewer, agvocate, collector of waifs and strays, determined to leave the world in a better place’. Her ‘about page’ shares her inspiration
This blog is my insider’s perspective on the dairy industry and the day-to-day life of a dairy farmer, mother and woman.
If you have any question, opinions or just want to say hello you can leave me a message here or follow me on Twitter.
I would much rather you asked me a question about dairy farming in Australia – the good, the bad and the ugly! – than base your views on things you read in a city newspaper or social media site.
Ali too hasn’t written a blog for a long time ( April 2015).
I also enjoy blogs about farming in harsher environments and enjoy Gus’ musings at his Wyndham Station’s blog. My favourite blogger is Bessie Thomas. Blogging comes naturally to Bessie as like Marian she comes from the world of media. But even Bessie is struggling to maintain the momentum and hasn’t written a blog since May 2015.
Update from the Verandah is another favourite – a great example of the power of great pictures
I am also a fan of many of our non farmer agriculture advocate supporter blogs. I love the Flourish Files but Victoria too has been very quiet in the space in the last 12 months
So the big question is how do we help our bloggers maintain the rage?
The answer to this question has multiple facets but today I want to share with you some of the ways non-bloggers can help best support the people who put their hands up to blog ?
And this answer is a simple as remembering ‘everybody needs a hug sometimes’
We don’t need everybody to blog but just imagine what we could achieve if everyone supported our bloggers in some way. Whether that’s sharing their blogs on Facebook or Twitter or feeding them suggestions for great stories or occasionally sending them an email of support.
My blog is being recorded in history by the National Library as are my websites. My stories and my opinions will be a record of my perspective on agriculture’s journey in my lifetime and I take this very seriously.
At the moment I am blogging prolifically as I am finding agriculture’s naysayers so frustrating and they are pushing my buttons. I am frustrated by the elitism in agriculture that rears its ugly head from time to time. I am frustrated by the people who say you have to be a 24/7 365 dirt under fingernails farmer to know what’s best for agriculture and make others feel unwelcome. Most of all I am furious with the people who undermine our youth and future influencers. Being frustrated is a great thing in my case because pushing my buttons for whatever reason, good and bad, means my blog is here to stay.
How to advocate and support others advocating is a workshop session for our Young Farming Champions and many have risen to the challenge.
Young people in agriculture are Facebook and Instagram fans. Some of the Young Farming Champions have set up Facebook pages to share stories about their careers in ag. Some have set up Facebook pages to share their farm stories and many others promote each other and other people’s stories
If you follow my blog then what you do is being recorded in history. My blog is ensuring agriculture won’t be defined by my knockers – it will be defined by the wonderful men and women and young people determined to make farming in the 21st century a success story