Farmers earn more from YouTube than their crops


Alternative crop, no more rapeseed woes:

NEW YORK: It’s a sign of the times when farmers make more money advocating for the industry on social media than actually farming.

Zach Johnson, who grows corn and soybeans in Minnesota, is known in YouTube circles as MN Millennial Farmer. It’s a role, he says, that’s provided him and his wife, Becky, about five times more in earnings than he can make on the family farm in the last year.

Johnson, 34, became a video blogger three years ago to advocate for growers and the technology they use.

Now, he and Becky have about 300,000 subscribers and 50 million views under their belts.

Their experience reflects both the depressed state of the rural economy and growing consumer interest in how food is produced.

“Yes, we use GMOs, we use pesticides, drain tiles and irrigation and there are real reasons why we use those things,” Johnson said in an interview.

He describes his role as bringing balance to a discussion often dominated by critics of modern farming practices.

The Johnsons aren’t alone online. In rural communities across the US, YouTube, a unit of Google, is the most popular social media with 59% of people using it, according to a Pew Research Center survey in 2018.

Keith Good is the social media manager at the Farmdoc project at the University of Illinois, created to provide online data and analysis that will aid decision-making for farms under risk.

Over the last year, he’s seen a dramatic increase in farmers posting more videos on social media.

“Farm organisations and commodity groups have encouraged producers to be part of the conversation on social media,” Good said.



I watch a lot of the American homestead videos on Youtube and it's almost essential for them to have a channel to support their small enterprises, can make $30-40,000 pa from Youtube.

However, they have to spend half of every day editing and uploading, as well as carry a camera around with them everywhere they go.

kiwi pom

canterbury NZ
I see there's a growing number of UK farmers doing it now as well.

It does seem a good idea if you don't mind putting yourself out there and all the hassle it brings with it.
Zach does a great job of promoting his industry.

I'm waiting for a few members on here to do one :)


BASE UK Member
We add their videos to Farm TV here along with some other good channels. Loads of great farming content out there.
Chris, I sub subscribe to the Millennial farmer and Welker farms and I'm enjoying Born Mucky & Tom Pemberton but can't find UK arable story tellers any recommendations?

PS I was forced to start my own!

Daniel Larn

It is true, you can earn a good packet from YouTube if you're prepared to put the effort in. Farmers have quite an advantage in that it's a tiny niche on YouTube, and so it's easier to be discovered.

It is however a lot of work to get it right, while I dont think most farming channels are putting in the same amount of editing time. For our project at the moment we are taking nearly 1hr in editing for every 1min of footage.

And you need at least 15 minutes of footage for every minute of the final cut.

We are drafting in an editor and videographer to assist with it all, so it's costing us a significant amount of money before we even start.

All that being said though, we are trying to produce content for the general public as well as farmers, and the general public content is the killer.

Content for farmers is a bit easier to put together, because we aren't as fussy.


The less music and less editing the better for farmers I think. Simple shots showing real farming works if you have any natural talent in from of a camera. 10th Gerneration Dairyman is a example of that. A good UK channel that deserves more subscriptions is CowfarmerDan.

Update on the Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot

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Update on the Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot

Written by Lisa Applin

In July, we opened the applications window for farmers to join our Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot.

The Sustainable Farming Incentive is 1 of the 3 new environmental land management schemes. It sits alongside the future Local Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery schemes.

Through the Sustainable Farming Incentive, farmers will be paid for environmentally sustainable actions – ones that are simple to do and do not require previous agri-environment scheme experience.

We are piloting the scheme to...