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graphic of pages to include on a farm website

graphic with list of pages to include on a website

By Sarah Gehring, Manager of Marketing and E-Commerce at FCS Financial

Farms are businesses. Farms have suppliers, buyers, vendors and, often, employees. You probably have considered or launched a Facebook page and other social channels for your farm. Don’t look past the value of a website. 

Why do farms need a website?

A farm website allows people to learn more about your practices and philosophies, what you do on your farm and how they can contact you.  It does all of this in a more searchable way than social media platforms. A website allows visitors to get to know you. It provides an outlet to tell your family or farm history. This is especially important if the farm is multi-generational. People like to read stories of successful businesses and the family members behind those businesses. The history of generational longevity is something those working 9-5 often do not have. The website provides an avenue to share your farm and family story.

Who is looking at a farm website?

Landlords or prospective landlords, community members, vendors, buyers and potential employees all want to learn about your farm. A website allows landlords or prospective landlords to learn more about your farm practices and history without requiring chatter in the neighborhood. This is helpful for out-of-state landlords and those who live outside your local area. It’s hard to build a relationship with someone who doesn’t live in the same community as you, but a website can start this process.

More people now are removed from agriculture than any other generation. A farm website allows members of your community to learn about your farm directly from you. A website lets you control the story you want told about your business.

Lastly, potential employees want to learn more about you before they apply for a job. AgHires founder, Lori Culler, indicates that over 75% of candidates research an organization before they apply for a job.  Most of this research happens online, and if your business doesn’t have a website, they simply move on. Culler also notes that Generation Z likes to see videos about the farm and what a day in the life of a farm employee might look like. Housing these videos on a website with a page specifically for potential employees is a great attraction method.  By providing more information on your farm expectations, culture, and business practices, you will get better applicants for your openings. 

What should be included on a farm website?

A few simple pages are the basics of any website. Once set up, you can decide how frequently you want to update the pages.  Websites do not require frequent content in the same way social media platforms do.  Below are the key pages to consider.

About Us – The About Us page is where you include your business history, agricultural philosophies, practices, and any information that you want a prospective landlord or employee to know about you. Include photos to tell the story. If you feel the page is getting too long, it can always be broken into sub-pages like Farm History and Current Farm.

Contact Us – Provide a phone number and email address that is answered. This can be a general office number if messages are returned. If you provide a cell phone number tell people if text is an appropriate contact option.

Careers – Provide a short overview about the general type of employee you want to hire. Include a link to the full position descriptions for the positions you have open. The full position description is important because it shows a prospective employee the duties they are expected to complete. There is always the “other duties as assigned” bullet, however, the description should provide a good picture of the duties you expect for an employee to be successful in that role.

Also, include how you want applicants to apply for an open position. Those options could consist of emailing a resume and cover letter or using a link to a company application. Always restate the email address that you want them to contact, even if it is the same as the general farm email address on the contact page. The less someone must search, the more likely they are to apply for your job.

Additional Pages

If you want to share more information, here are additional page ideas to consider.

Landowners – This page could be an overview of what you offer landlords that you rent farms from and how you work with landowners in a rental situation. Again, include who they need to contact if they are interested in discussing renting their farm to you. You can even consider a password protected page, accessible only to current landlords, where you can share more detailed information. 

Photos and Video – Pages dedicated to both photos and videos make it easy for visitors to learn more about your farm. A picture is worth a thousand words and a video even more than that. Neither requires fancy equipment to obtain. Today’s smartphones make taking photos and videos easy.

 When making videos for websites, turn your camera horizontal for the best viewer experience. There are free and paid apps that allow you to edit videos on your phone. Be sure and listen to the background audio to see if you want to post it or remove the audio before posting the video.

Visitors like to see daily operations on your farm such as planting, harvesting, moving equipment or how your employees and family work together. Videos don’t need to be lengthy to convey the message. In some instances, the shorter the video, the more likely it will be watched.

What about social media?

If your farm is active on social media you should continue to be active on those platforms. A website will only help your social media as a website shows a presence online and in the social media arena. Social media is not a replacement for a website. Social media content is consumed immediately; the information on your website usually doesn’t change as frequently.

Not every farm wants to keep up with a social media presence, and that’s okay. A website gives you an online presence, which is helpful for prospective employees and landlords, without having the day-to-day maintenance of social media.

Your website can be as simple or complex as you want it to be. It can be managed by someone on the farm or outsourced to someone else. Don’t be intimidated by it – just give it a shot.

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