Some farmers earn more money defending GMOs on YouTube than they do growing food

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It’s a sign of the times when farmers make more money advocating for the industry on social media than actually farming.

Zach Johnson, who grows corn and soybeans in Minnesota, is known in YouTube circles as MN Millennial Farmer. It’s a role, he says, that’s provided him and his wife, Becky, about five times more in earnings than he can make on the family farm in the last year.

Johnson, 34, became a video blogger three years ago to advocate for growers and the technology they use. Now, he and Becky have about 300,000 subscribers and 50 million views under their belts. Their experience reflects both the depressed state of the rural economy and growing consumer interest in how food is produced.

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“Yes, we use GMOs, we use pesticides, drain tiles and irrigation and there are real reasons why we use those things,” Johnson said in an interview. He describes his role as bringing balance to a discussion often dominated by critics of modern farming practices.

The Johnsons aren’t alone online. In rural communities across the U.S., YouTube, a unit of Google, is the most popular social media with 59% of people using it, according to a Pew Research Center survey in 2018.

Reach full, original article: Farmers Earn More From YouTube Than Their Crops

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