Posted by: FBRuralDevelopment | 06/05/2013

Toolkit for Farm Writers and Bloggers

The Cornell University Small Farms Program has made available an online Toolkit for Small Farm Writers and Bloggers

NY Cornell Small Farms banner_sfp5

In mid-April they held a training for writers entitled “Telling Better Stories: Journalism Training for Small Farm Educators and Writers” held on the Cornell campus.  They have now posted videos, worksheets and powerpoint presentations from the event online.  These great resources teach you how to hone your writing skills, take better photographs, start podcasting, and adapt your articles for different audiences.  You’ll find these free resources posted next to descriptions from the workshop here.

The workshops provide how-to advice on learning how to gather facts to make stories informative and interesting, using photos to tell a good story, how to show and tell to make a compelling story, podcasting, using interviews, quotes and written dialogue,  adapting your stories for various audiences, and writing for today’s readers of online scanners.

Cornell also offers more information on their website on their projects, resources, news, and events.

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  1. This is great information for small farmers, but I’m concerned about the time factor. Smaller operations require more labor (I’m assuming more diversification as well as smaller size) and trying to maintain a media presence might be hard to come by, especially during the growing season. I wonder if this is something that cooperatives could do. As a retired journalist, I know full well the need for a public presence, but as a former small farmer, I also know that time constraints can be killers.

    • Faith, Many of the folks who write about farming are not always the farmers themselves, although I believe that is the best way for the farmers’ stories to get told accurately. Many times the story is told by visitors to the farm or by foodie bloggers. In any event, these resources are valuable for anyone who wants to put pen to paper and share “a thousand words” with a photo. One of my favorite farmer blogs is from a small dairy farm in rural Vermont. This blog illustrates so clearly how farming and life are inseparable.

      • It’s true that a lot of the writing about farming is not by farmers. Some of that writing has little to do with reality, but some of it is VERY good.

        Thanks for the suggestion. The blog looks like a good blog to follow.

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