Five Huntsville-area bloggers armed with smartphones and cameras documented their tour of row crops and poultry houses at Miller Farms in Snead in late July.
Stephanie Miller, who writes about farming on her blog “The Life of a Farmer’s Wife,” planned and hosted the event with her husband, Lance, to provide an up-close look at Alabama agriculture.
“A lot of people who have never been to a farm might easily believe the first thing they read on the internet about farming,” Stephanie said. “That’s why I blog and have a Facebook page, so people can see what agriculture is really like.”
Huntsville native Paula Claunch, blogger at AkaJaneRandom.com, said it was refreshing to meet a young couple who farm for a living.
“I think people today tend to think of corporate farms instead of family farms,” Claunch said. “Just hearing Lance’s stories about working from sunup to literally midnight was inspiring.”
The blogger tour included stops at equipment barns to describe different uses for machinery; a wagon ride through fields of cotton, corn and peanuts; and a visit inside poultry houses.
“Honestly, I thought peanuts were grown in Georgia; I had no idea they were grown in north Alabama,” Claunch said. “Farming will surprise you. I was surprised to find out how much chickens eat, how much water they drink and the amount of care they need.”
Blogger and Army wife Constance Smith has lived in cities across the U.S. and the world and said this tour opened her eyes to the expertise needed to farm.
“The Millers run their farm like a well-oiled machine,” said Smith, who blogs at CosmopolitanCornbread.com. “Everything has a purpose. And there’s so much planning and preparation that goes into a farm. It’s not just planting some seeds and praying for rain. You almost have to have a business degree to be a farmer because they have to know about taxes and other rules.”
The tour ended in a corn field, planted with seed provided by Monsanto, where the bloggers picked ears to take home. After a lunch of farm-fresh food, attendees played “Corno,” a Bingo-inspired game where the board squares have names of products that include corn. Each blogger took home goodie bags provided by the Alabama Farmers Federation.
See more photos from the event on the Federation’s Flickr page.