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We've all heard it before: a picture is worth a thousand words. Perhaps this is why the popularity of Instagram skyrocketed so quickly. Instagram is an amazing storytelling tool; your customers WANT to know what you do all day. They WANT photos of your cows, your fields, your farming life punctuating their days! All you need to do is remember to take out your smart phone once in a while, snap a photo, and share what it's like to walk a day in your boots. 

There are likely many farmers who use the "I'm not a photographer" line when it comes to Instagram. Guess what. Instagram is built so that ANYONE can take amazing photos. There are filters galore for you to play around with (don't be shy!).

TIP: If you sign into your Instagram account, you'll be able to "Follow" the fantastic farmers featured here without leaving this page just by clicking on the "Follow" button in the upper right-hand side of the images!

FINDING YOUR FARM'S INSTAGRAM SPIRIT

Think about how you would describe your farm without using the words "farm," "animals," or "produce." What is it about your farm that give it its soul? Do you think about your rolling hills? That big oak tree in the middle of the field? The broken section of fencing that has somehow grown so much character that you can't bear to fix it? Maybe it's the sound of the chickens in the early morning or the sound of the cows slowly chewing their cud. Instagram can capture all of this and communicate it to your followers. With enough posts, you will have created a complex and satisfying tapestry of your farm's character and history.

Below are some examples of farmers using Instagram with great results. We encourage you to give it a try - use the CNG hashtag #cngproud so we can help you boost your voice as you get started!

SHARE THE WONDER OF FARMING

It's no secret that our culture romanticizes farming and regardless of how hard farming actually IS, it's still filled with moments of wonder and beauty. These moments, when you're looking at the sun rising over your baby bok choi, or the first delicate sprout pushing its way into the cold spring air, are moments you should share. Sharing your wonder is a way of sharing the deepest core of the story of your farm. 

Roots Memphis (@rootsmemphis) does a wonderful job of capturing the wonder of farming throughout their feed. This photo of seeds is a favorite of ours though - how can we not be amazed at how such small little things could sprout forth so much life!? 

#Scabiosa seeds look like little petticoats. #flowerfarmer #RootsMemphis

A photo posted by Roots Memphis (@rootsmemphis) on Mar 24, 2015 at 2:27pm PDT

 

ALL THAT COLOR!

Your vegetables are gorgeous, no doubt about it. Show them off! Take these #beets from Skylight Farm (@skylightfarm) - you don't see THAT in your grocery store every day! Also, they do a great job of using all sorts of hashtags:#badfarmerpuns #certifiednaturallygrown #beets #eatlocal #eatlocalatl #csafarm #farming

WANT MORE? 

You can download our extended PDF version of this lesson by clicking on the button below!

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TELL THE STORY OF YOUR TEAM!

Who is working on your farm? What is THEIR story? Ask if you can feature them on your Instagram. Include funny things they say, or things you love about working with them. Here's Broadfork Farm's (@broadfork_farm) newest team members welcoming the spring season!

 

Here's Roots Memphis Farm (@rootsmemphis) wishing their team member a happy birthday! These small gestures say a lot about a farm's heart. 

 

Sometimes, we take a break from farming for surprise birthday parties in the greenhouse. Happy birthday, Farmer Liam!

A photo posted by Roots Memphis (@rootsmemphis) on Mar 28, 2015 at 11:19am PDT

 

HUMANS AREN'T YOUR ONLY TEAMMATES!

Don't forget to feature the four-legged residents at your farm (bonus points if they’re babies). 180 Degree Farm (@180degreefarm) shows off their oh-so-cute baby lambs with tags like #cuteness and #lambing2015 to make sure their photos are added to those larger collections within Instagram. Tags are a great way to participate in a larger conversation around a topic - don't be afraid to use them!

#cuteness factor is 10! #lambing2015 #lamb #snowwhite #springfever

A photo posted by Scott (@180degreefarm) on Mar 25, 2015 at 9:12am PDT

Jennings Apiaries (@jenningsapiaries) gets up close and personal with their worker bees - literally! 

 

USE THE CNG LABEL! 

CNG is here to help YOU. Our hard work should help establish the CNG label as a widely-recognized point of pride - don't be shy about using the reputation we're building! You can tag your photos with #cngproud or #cngfarming so we're sure to see them and help amplify your posts.

Queen Farina (@queenfarina) shows off some exquisite-looking honey bearing the CNG label below. 

Recognizing Queen Hazel May today! #youcancallmequeenbee

A photo posted by Queen Farina (@queenfarina) on Dec 2, 2014 at 9:16am PST

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SCREENSHOTS MAKE GREAT ADVERTISEMENTS 

You've updated your website or spent hours creating a flyer to feature X, Y or Z - why not just take a photo to share the information with your Instagram followers? Take a look at how White Oak Pastures (@whiteoakpastures) publicizes an upcoming farm tour.  

 

DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE FILTERS & BOLD CAPTIONS

Instagram's many filters can be intimidating, but they're really quite easy to use. Filters can help you tell a story too; sometimes you take a photo and the image just doesn't match the feeling you had taking the photo. Take this image from Many Fold Farm (@manyfoldfarm) titled "Portrait of a farmer" - yes this is a photo of Ross, co-owener of Many Fold Farm, but it's also a photo paying homage to the "Farmer" in our collective consciousness. The filter helps turn a photo of Ross in to a "Portrait of a Farmer." 

Portrait of a farmer.

A photo posted by Many Fold Farm (@manyfoldfarm) on Mar 19, 2015 at 9:35am PDT

 

APPEAL TO CULINARY FANTASIES

Yes, everyone is entranced by the life of a farmer, but featuring photos of the prepared final product reminds people where their food comes from. Encourage your customers and any restaurants that may source from you to hashtag or link to your Instagram name - when they do, re-post! Everyone (especially businesses!) loves the recognition of a re-post.

Click here for a quick tutorial on how to repost. 

Perryhill Produce (@perryhillproduce) frequently shares their kitchen adventures with their followers. Here's a mouth-watering picture of their strawberry rhubarb crumble in the making!

#strawberry #rhubarb ready for the crumble. #Dessert #yesplease

A photo posted by Perryhill Produce (@perryhillproduce) on Jul 5, 2014 at 12:05pm PDT

 

Evans and Evans Farm (@evansandevansfarm) does a great job of re-posting and re-tagging photos of lamb that their customers and restaurants Instagram about. This is a great opportunity to have a conversation with your customers!

Nice to see our lamb being enjoyed by our customers. #100%grassfedlamb

A photo posted by Evans & Evans Farm (@evansandevansfarm) on Jan 12, 2015 at 5:16am PST

 

WANT MORE? 

You can download our extended PDF version of this lesson by clicking on the button below!

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