Life of a Millennial Farmer
Life of a Millennial Farmer
February 18, 2021
Pro Tip: Clean electrical connections on trucks and vehicular equipment using WD-40 Specialist Contact Cleaner.
Ever wanted to step inside a harvester combine, troubleshoot how to plow through frozen fields, or get under the hood of some John Deere heavy machinery? Or better yet, keep your hands warm and clean and watch someone else do it? Meet Zach Johnson, a fifth-generation farmer and proud owner/operator of a family-owned corn and soybean farm in Minnesota. By creating the Millennial Farmer YouTube channel, Zach and his wife Becky have enabled millions of people to get a glimpse into the life and mind of a modern-day farmer by blending communication technology with good old-fashioned hard work.
What’s a Vlog?
“Vlogging,” or video blogging, uses videos to tell the story of the “vlogger” as they go about their daily lives – personally, professionally, or however they choose. Since their first post on YouTube in 2016, Zach and Becky the Millennial Farmer vlog paired with other social media tools to further their mission: “to become a national voice for agriculture, provide farmer-to-farmer education and facilitate a collaborative conversation between farmers and the public.”
The Millennial Farmer concept did not start out as a business venture, but simply as a way to share and communicate with friends and fellow farmers. Then in the harvest of 2017, views began to climb into the thousands – especially after the infamous “Tractor Stuck in the MUD” incident – and the side-hustle took on a life of its own. Now Zach and his family combine their fulltime life on the farm with an online presence that not only brings in extra income but also provides interesting and valuable information to people on both sides of the camera.
Farmers, Meet Millennials
The communication tools we have today, already unprecedented in human history, continue to accelerate at a monumental pace. The Millennial Farmer platform seeks to “build the connection between farmers and consumers by facilitating a collaborative conversation amongst everyone.” Bridging the gap between farmers, the agriculture industry and people immersed in urban environments empowers both sides with greater insights and understanding. In sharing his daily experiences, Zach demonstrates the operational requirements of his family farm as well as the grit it takes to keep it going … with a few dad-jokes tossed in for good measure.
Knowledge is Power
As a farmer, Zach needs to possess an incredible amount of knowledge and skill to get the job done right. His family farm is no small cottage on the prairie, but a full-bore corn and soybean business with dozens of pieces of heavy equipment and machinery to master and maintain his environment. The often unforgiving weather in Minnesota adds further challenges, as does seasonal nature of farming and consumer demand.
The Millennial Farmer videos on YouTube tell the full story from morning to night as Zach moves about the farm with children and dogs in tow. He spares no details in the recordings of working conditions, weather and the environment, conversations with others in the agriculture business, and even interactions with his family members.
Viewers also get to see firsthand how he maintains the farm’s tractors, vehicles, and equipment, and what products and practices sustain the farm year after year. As a WD-40® Brand partner, Zach consistently gives tips, uses, and demonstrations for WD-40 Multi-Use Product and WD-40 Specialist® products in his videos. His in-depth experience and generational knowledge delivers a primary source for what works best and documents real-use cases of the products in action.
Check it out:
Zach and his family keep it real through what they create with Millennial Farmer. They show authentic experiences from a corn and soybean farm in Minnesota and use social media to shine a light on their challenges, successes and daily toils. In the breakout video “Tractor Stuck in the Mud,” the Millennial Farmer YouTube channel turned a potentially costly mistake into a story of triumph.
“We never got upset or yelled at each other,” said Zach. “We just solved the problem. By working hard, sharing knowledge and embracing change we can all collaborate to build a brighter future.”
**Photo credit: John Haynes