Farming goes digital: Coloma resident gets national recognition for farming blog

Amanda Zaluckyj, an attorney in St. Joseph, is among 100 people recognized nationally as part of the Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives search. Photo taken Wednesday at Zaluckyj’s family farm in Coloma. (Don Campbell | HP Staff)

Amanda Zaluckyj, an attorney in St. Joseph, is among 100 people recognized nationally as part of the Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives search. Photo taken Wednesday at Zaluckyj’s family farm in Coloma. (Don Campbell | HP Staff)

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

COLOMA — Amanda Zaluckyj began blogging to show the real face of American farmers.

She conceived a blog called “The Farmer’s Daughter USA” to promote and explain modern agricultural production in 2012.

Zaluckyj was among the few recognized nationally by the Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives search, which honors individuals shaping rural communities and agriculture for the better. The top 100 honorees were announced in March on National Ag Day at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

By day, Zaluckyj is a lawyer who practices general insurance litigation in St. Joseph. Her family runs a farm in Coloma, where they grow corn and soybeans.

Zaluckyj sat down with Herald-Palladium Staff Writer Tony Wittkowski to see why the blog was started and how it’s changed.

Why did you start the blog? What did you hope to accomplish?

Around 2012, I was getting ready to graduate from law school and studying the bar exam. I had this crazy idea that I wanted to do something more creative than just law because it can be very bland. I was trying to think of things that were interesting that I was passionate about and had noticed there was an uptick of misinformation on food and farming.

It was upsetting because that’s what my family does. I decided to start a blog and talk to people about agriculture and connect to consumers and clear up any misconceptions they had.

How often do you post something?

It varies. I used to be a little more consistent, but I usually try to get in three posts a week.

What do you normally write about?

Usually I cover things in the news. Things people are talking about. I try to stick to what we do, so the corn and the soybeans are what my family does. Genetic engineering is big with that, so I discuss GMOs.

I read a few of your posts and it seems like you stick up for the small American farmer. What compels you to do so?

Even though we’re doing commodity crops with 2,000 acres, we are technically a corporate farm. It still frustrates me seeing those big corporations that have so much money for marketing and advertising they can say whatever they want and it goes unchecked. This is a way to stand up to that.

What surprised you after starting the blog?

I honestly thought I was the only person that thought this way. It surprised me that there were so many other people that supported what I was saying. The biggest thing that surprises me is when people come to me and say, ‘Hey, I’ve learned so much from your blog and that I understand these issues now.’ They feel better about picking up a certain bland.

It seems like every post from your blog has hundreds of shares and likes. Was it satisfying being recognized by Farm Credit 100 in March?

That was also surprising. I just started a blog and Facebook page and a Twitter account. To actually think people are following me and recognizing what I do is surprising and humbling and quite an honor.

How has the blog changed since you first started?

I think I know what I’m doing a little bit more. My message has gotten stronger. I understand a little bit better how to explain things a little better and how to reach people. There are just a few things I picked up to get the message out a little better.

Where do you see “The Farmer’s Daughter USA” going in the next few years?

Let’s hope it keeps going. I would like to be able to step out into other mediums. If that means speaking at events to address these issues, that would be a good goal to have.

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@TheHP.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on June 27, 2016)

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