Find out how Will gets involved in the farm-to-food conversation and shares the story of his farm with consumers.
Will Bergmann was raised on a mixed family farm in Glenlea, Manitoba where he is now a partner with his dad and uncle. The “Bergmann Bros” farm was founded in 1925, after his family emigrated from the Ukraine. It is nestled along the Red River, just south of Winnipeg. They had a dairy farm, which was sold in 1996 and now grow crops and run a hog finishing operation. The farm-to-food conversation is always at the forefront of his mind and is one of the main reasons he started growing vegetables in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) garden more than three years ago.
Will and his wife Jen have three young children. In his free time, he is a photographer and musician, and enjoys surfing Lake Winnipeg.
What led you to become an agvocate?
I enjoy conversations that come from having direct contact with consumers. There’s so much misinformation out there on both sides of the conversation. I love listening to what the urban population is saying, and at the same time, give them a look at the “modern farmer”. The disconnect is real. Many people don’t know where their food comes from. Through my blog and other social media outlets, I have the opportunity to expand my influence and make more connections.
What does being an agvocate mean to you?
I feel strongly that I don’t need to change people’s minds about hot topics. What I need to do is educate them about the facts and try to paint a picture of what’s really happening. There are people with all kinds of beliefs and feelings about agriculture-related issues. I want them to make their own decisions after seeing and hearing more of the real story of modern agriculture.
How do you share your story of agriculture?
The Manitoba Canola Growers have had a huge part in helping me share my story both in this province and in Ontario. I’ve worked with them at several events and appreciated how they engage with consumers. I’ve also worked with Little Green Thumbs and Agriculture In The Classroom to share our farm story. I love how they get kids involved and let them get their hands dirty!
I also share photos and videos on Twitter and Instagram with captions that help explain life on the farm to consumers. I’ve created a few videos using a drone, including ‘Welcome to the Farm,’ which follows the seasons on my grain farm.
In 2015, I participated in a media interview with Global News to share my story with a broader audience. Check it out.
What advice would you give to other agvocates?
We need to listen first and talk second. People are turned off and can’t hear me if I try to force opinions onto them. I share who I am, what I do and what I believe. I think kindness trumps agenda.
Will has become very passionate about sharing his story – about life on his farm, which he tells through his blog Hashtagfarmlife.com and on social media where he uses the hashtag #farmlife.
Find Will on Twitter and Instagram @will_bergmann.