4 Lessons From Farmers
It is amazing how time can fly, isn’t it? I’ve been fortunate to talk to dozens of groups this winter and hundreds of farmers from all over Canada. It’s an exciting opportunity that I really appreciate. Many of the talks related to social media and emerging technology (like mobile) on the farm, although a handful looked at the bigger picture in agriculture – including one discussion on how we in agriculture need to ‘Unlearn’ in order to lead the country. Here are a few things I’ve picked up along the way.
- Sorry BlackBerry BlackBerry was the most common device in a farmers pocket just a year ago. Today, many who have them look longingly at their neighbours with Androids and iPhones. To be clear, it is not their fault. BlackBerry’s owners at RIM thought they had something special until all the apps came out, and intuitive touchscreens took a hold over roller balls, and trackpads. If BlackBerry doesn’t step up, they’ll be out of the game.
- Ag Apps Are Coming My frustration to the fact agriculture specific apps have been a bit slow coming to market is no secret, but I am seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. Developers are starting to mark their ground and look to building advanced software that fits on your iPhone or Android (again sorry BlackBerry, many developers are turning you down). Developers say they just need a little bit more time.
- Social Media Can Be Cool Selling Twitter to a room full of farmers is not an easy task, but I feel like I’ve gained some ground. The biggest issue farmers have with any social media tool is finding the value. For anyone still unsure about the technology or about the tools, talk to someone already using it. They’ll confirm that there is value, you just have to spend a few minutes finding it.
- Weather Still Wins It doesn’t matter whether I’m in Red Deer or Ridgetown, weather still trumps all other subjects. That’s especially true for a year where I didn’t move snow once, and where corn is being planted in the area before the first of April. No matter what fancy tool you work with, the basics in agriculture still trump it all.