Contributed by Makena Howell | Senior | Agricultural Communications
Rothert Farms Inc
Tik Tok is the world’s fastest growing social media app with over one billion active users and farmers hopping on the bandwagon.
Rothert Farm Inc is one of those farms and has amassed over 106,000 followers on their Tik Tok account under the username @rothertfarminc. Their first video, posted in February 2021, was simply a clip of workers harvesting and coring cabbages in a cabbage field. This video currently has over 51,000 views.
Tik Tok users from all over the world follow Rothert Farm Inc and leave comments thanking the workers for their difficult but essential work or commenting on the impressive technology being used. In fact, many of their most popular videos feature technology such as different types of tractors. Their most popular video, with 11.8 million views, shows a Garford Robocrop Inrow Weeder working through a field of crops. In the comments, viewers expressed their amazement over this technology that uses sensors to weed around plants. Other viewers expressed disapproval, commenting that this kind of innovation will replace the human work force and leave more people without jobs. Some viewers leave comments saying they want to work for Rothert Farm after seeing their videos.
Rothert Farm Inc is clearly doing something right given their traction and number of followers. Their videos are high quality with great lighting and angles— something that is valued on the Tik Tok app. It seems that people enjoy watching Rothert Farm’s videos because of their own personal or family involvement in agriculture, while others are intrigued by the novelty of it.
Could Tik Tok help preserve agriculture?
Currently, there is a huge lack of education regarding farming and agriculture in many parts of the world that leads to the public making uninformed judgements and decisions. Positive exposure and education are very important to preserving the future of agriculture. Tik Tok is a great platform for education because its format of quick videos keep the audience interested. Another thing to note, the app’s demographic is mostly young people, with its largest age demographic being between the ages of 19 to 29. This is an important generation to reach. They are becoming adults, starting careers, able to vote, and are more likely to engage in matters in which they sympathize with.
For some people, an account like Rothert Farms, could be the only window into seeing where their food comes from and how it is processed. Likewise, this account could increase interest and understanding of farm machinery to individuals who’ve never been exposed to such operations before.
Ideas for the future
Occasionally, someone from Rothert’s social media team will reply to people in their Tik Tok comments section and answer their questions. However, the videos on the account are just clips without words or text and contain little context in the captions. Many users take advantage of Tik Tok’s ability to add written text or a voice over to their videos for education, humor, or context. Given the size of their platform, Rothert Farms Inc could improve upon their modes of educating users if they used captions to help further explain some of the processes and details that employees perform on their farm.
Rothert Farm Inc also has a Facebook and an Instagram page. These pages feature much of the same content that their Tik Tok shows, but with fun and educational captions.