While Gen Z is well versed in all things related to TikTok, other generations have recently downloaded the new social media platform since the start of quarantine. I too find myself a Millennial who has recently been scrolling through TikTok enjoying the latest trends and learning new things. Like many apps these days, TikTok uses a recommendation algorithm to show you content that you will find interesting on the For You page. So, naturally, I constantly see dogs, cows, pranks, and dances that I so clumsily fail to master. Recently, one of my favorite things I have discovered on TikTok is the onset of farmers trying to educate and answer questions from consumers.
While every social media platform has its downfalls, they also have their benefits. For example, more than 100 million Americans alone are monthly active TikTok users, according to CNBC — that is a lot of potential consumers farmers and ranchers could reach if they were active on the app. Not only are young farmers and ranchers looking for consumers, they are focused on helping to answer questions and concerns consumers might have. Through social media outreach, farmers and ranchers can show consumers their day to day life and reach them from anywhere in the world.
Shay Myers has over 232,000 followers and over 3.2 million likes on his TikTok page. In this video, you see him simply replying to someone about the typical storage protocol of onions. As a third-generation farmer, Myers received 4 million views on this one video.
2. TR Jones
TR Jones has over over 595,000 followers and over 5.3 million likes on his TikTok videos. In this video, Jones wanted to take time and show is appreciation to a celebrity — shocking I know — Chef Gordon Ramsey. Ramsey dueted a separate video of a vegan calling Ramsey out for eating meat. Ramsey was not amused and finished his video with a big bite of a beef burger. Jones took this time to thank Ramsey for standing up for farmers and ranchers.
The NY Farm Girls are three sisters who have taken social media by storm. They are the perfect example of Gen Z’ers stepping up and becoming agriculture advocates. For example, in this video, they answer the hard questions head on. With over 311,000 followers and 5.1 million likes, they are teaching young people their age about agriculture.
4. Lesley Kelly
Lesley Kelly — also known as High Heels and Canola Fields on social media platforms — is another great agriculture advocate. Kelly specializes in spotlighting the mental health crisis among farmers on other platforms, but her TikTok is full of hilarious videos of life on the farm.
This Canadian dairyman has been very successful teaching others about life on a dairy farm. In this simple — yet realistic — informational video, Jan Kielstra explains how to milk a cow. With over 2.1 million views, this video reached the eyes of many. What may seem like common sense to dairy farmers is actually very interesting to the other 99 percent of the population who are not dairy farmers.
Huey Boelen perfectly describes what it is like to own livestock. Doesn’t matter what time of day, everyone dreads that phone call — your cows are out. With 1.6 million followers, Boelen has created a following of farmers and consumers alike.
While these are just a few of the many, many farmers and ranchers on TikTok, there are still so many others out there advocating for our industry. If you are looking to get started on TikTok but don’t know who to follow, try using hashtags to find your interest. For example, #farmtok is very popular with over 222 million views and thousands of users. While many producers are weary to get started on social media, there is good to come from being vulnerable and putting yourself out there.