Last fall, two buses full of Vermont and New York dairy farmers executed a highly successful Big Apple “Cabot Farmers Gratitude Tour.” There were selfies, lots of farmer hugging and “55 Random Acts of Cheddar.”
But Lorraine Lewandrowski, an attorney and upstate New York dairy farmer who goes by the Twitter handle @NYFarmer, cautions that it takes effort to keep the interests and issues of “deep rural” commodity farmers in front of the MSM. Ahead of a Friday night NYC panel discussion on the future of farming moderated by New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman, Lewandrowski has shared via The Daily Yonder some good tips on how to connect with big-city media. They include:
– Promote our talented rural writers, journalists and photographers. Some of them are experts in their area of writing but are ignored by urban media. Ag and rural journalists have chronicled our ups and down, pouring their hearts into our stories. Point out their writings, photography, creative work and talents out to urban media and create linkages.
– Cultivate young urban writers and creative people who are willing to speak with and meet farmers of deep rural America. While it has seemed nearly impossible to get older food movement writers to return a call, younger and hungrier writers are looking for story ideas and information. One of my favorites is Nathaneal Johnson of Grist, who has delved into GMO’s in his online series. Modern Farmer’s Sam Brasch was the first to cover the Blizzard Atlas in urban media while the New York Times dozed. There are many more worthy of recognition.
Per Lewandrowski’s Twitter profile, she is also an assistant to a veterinarian and cheesemaker. Read her full essay here.