‘Fast Farmer’ videos offer practical how-to advice

Beginning farmers can now learn to build an electric fence — without ever leaving the house.

Farm On Foundation has created the first instalment in a series called “The Fast Farmer.” The series will use podcasts, videos, photos, instructional sheets, case studies, and other material to provide practical information in an easy-to-use format geared to younger farmers, said Ben Wilson, Farm On video production manager.

“We wanted to inspire them to begin their learning online and kick-start that with a basic step-by-step approach,” said Wilson.

While young producers have embraced the Internet and YouTube to learn farming techniques, it’s hard to find relevant information among all the online clutter, said Wilson.

The organization, created six years ago to help young farmers, worked with the Alberta Forage Industry Network to create The Fast Farmer pilot and consulted with industry experts to get the right approach.

“We knew the resources had to be step by step and ready to implement in the business right away,” said Wilson.

In the pilot (available at farmon.com), Albert Kuipers, manager of the Grey Wooded Forage Association, shares his skill at building electric fences. The group hopes to work with other producer organizations to create more programs in the series.

“We need help finding experts and getting them to go on camera,” Wilson said at the recent Livestock Care Conference. “We’re a small team and we don’t expect that we would do it all on our own.”

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It’s a win-win for producer organizations wanting to connect with young people, he added.

“To be honest, young farmers are not finding you. They may know that you exist, but they’re having difficulty because of the constraints on their time. They’re raising kids, and they have second jobs. They sometimes can’t make it to events like this or to other learning opportunities. So partnering with Farm On and putting some of these resources online is a great way to raise the profile of those producer organizations and access those young farmers.”

About the author

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Alexis Kienlen

Alexis Kienlen lives in Edmonton and has been writing for Alberta Farmer since 2008. Originally from Saskatoon, Alexis is also the author of two collections of poetry, a biography, and a novel called "Mad Cow."

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