Many would call Andy Zessin a traditional farm kid. He started farming in the 8th grade, with some parental oversight, and bought his first farm as a sophomore in college. He returned to that farm three times a week during harvest, juggling being a full-time college student and the four hour drive to the farm and back. His family farm is located in Madison, Nebraska, and they grow wheat, corn, soybeans, alfalfa, and hay.
He has an active Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube account that he uses to reach those who may not otherwise ever step foot on the farm. He went from zero followers in 2019 to seven thousand followers by the end of harvest. Fun fact, that’s twice the size of the population of his hometown.
I’ve been farming with my family since the eighth grade, and I bought my very first farm in 2018. My family has sold Pioneer products for 22 years. Farming and agronomy has been a part of who I am my whole life.
I think farmers should be telling their story. The average American farmer may not have solid, if any, representation online. When you look at the number of farmers and the number of farmers using social media, it’s easy to see the number of farmers using social media is a very small piece of that pie. Without social media, people like myself and my dad might not be able to reach someone, let’s say, in Illinois. Logistically, that’s not very far away, yet they may know nothing about us without our online presence.
I love the business side of farming. There’s a lot of numbers to it, and it’s critical we’re efficient. There’s also so many choices and options. To me, it’s one of the most complicated professions because there are so many variables out of your control and so many ways to do it wrong, and you can’t really change that. I’ve learned the best thing you can do is make a decision and go with it. Farming really is about being able to make a decision.
I don’t really work around here, it’s just my way of life. Yes, it’s what I do for a living, but it’s so much more than that. I get to do what I love, and share that with the world, and that’s pretty cool.
I love meeting people in person, and then connecting with them by sharing my Instagram. My goal is to help educate people about agriculture, and maybe change people’s perspective. I also really appreciate the opportunity to learn from other people’s experiences in agriculture. I can take a trip to a farm anywhere in the world right from my phone.