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What's Perfume Got To Do With Precision Farming?

What's Perfume Got To Do With Precision Farming?

Plenty, if you are trying to explain to non-farmers why precision farming is good for the environment.

Sarah Bedgar Wilson says she learned a neat trick on how to talk to townspeople about farming.

Take precision farming. She and her husband, Jeremy, use variable rate technology to apply fertilizer and seed on their farm near Jamestown, N.D.

When Wilson -- an active ag advocate -- wants women from the city to understand why precision farming is good for the environment, she tells them variable rate fertilizing and seeding is like applying perfume. When they are getting ready to go out, they don't dump a whole bottle of expensive perfume on their heads. They dab just the right amounts on strategic places -- like their on their wrists and neck.

Sarah Bedgar Wilson offers tips on getting through to consumers.

"Then I tell them that's what we do with seed and fertilizer," she says, "and, then they get it."

Wilson was one of the keynote speakers at the recent Precision Farming Summit held in Jamestown, N.D.

It's important to explain the advantages of using ag technology, Wilson says, but you have to use terms non-farmers understand if you hope to get through to them.

Wilson doesn't use statistics to illustrate how much of an impact a farm has on the economy. Instead, she tells people how many places in town she and Jeremy do business with. Wilson took out a local phone book once and counted 50 local firms where they spend money

When describing how much corn and wheat they produce, she doesn't use the word "bushels." Townspeople have no idea how much a bushel is. Instead, she says they produce enough corn each year to make 5.9 million boxes of Corn Flakes and enough wheat to bake 5.4 million loaves of bread.

"It's something consumers can understand," she says.

Wilson includes pictures of her kids in her blogs and sometimes tacks on bible verse. Most people want to know about her values and morals.

When they ask why she farms she gives an honest, heartfelt answer.

"I feel called to be a steward of God's creation," she says.

Read her blog "Farmer On A Mission".

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