LOWRY, Minn. (WCCO) — A western Minnesota farmer has a YouTube channel that’s approaching one million subscribers. Zach Johnson farms near the town of Lowry, but he’s best known for what he posts online.
During harvest season, Johnson revolves around two things: his crops and his camera. This is why he is known as the Millennial Farmer.
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“I’m 37, so I’m an older millennial,” Johnson said.
Millennial Farmer also happens to be the name of the YouTube channel he started five years ago. At first he just wanted to give people a taste of rural America.
“I had a video that got 100,000 views the first week, which at the time was just crazy,” Johnson said.
Today, he has more than 850,000 subscribers. About half are non-farmers.
“The interesting thing we’ve noticed is that we welcome everyone from kids ages 2 to 100,” Johnson said.
The videos feature everyday challenges, from stuck equipment and flat tires to harvesting in the snow.
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It’s teamwork. Johnson’s wife edits what he reports. During harvest season, they make about five videos a week.
“People ask me how I come up with materials and how I plan these things, I don’t,” Johnson said. “That’s what happens day to day on the family farm.”
Humor is mixed with challenges and fixes.
Johnson and his family are donating much of the YouTube money they receive from Millennial Farmer to an organization that helps farm families in crisis. Some of the money also goes to fire departments for training and equipment that can help with grain elevator rescues.
The Johnsons think it’s the right thing to do. This is their chance to educate and inspire.
“The most important thing I would like to convey is to emphasize that farmers are people. And we’re still the same family farmers doing what we’ve been doing for hundreds of years. The same people here who love the land and take care of the land,” Johnson said.
Johnson has no cattle, so in the winter he will visit dairy and poultry farms to showcase what these farmers do.
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