Grassroots Advocacy at Its Best, from the Cab of a Combine

(Photo courtesy of Mike Haley,

Farmers have a history of organizing movements, and this fall they rallied behind a social media movement known as #occupycombine on

“This movement is built on the ideals of ethics, family, hard work and transparency in how food is raised,” wrote Ohio farmer Mike Haley on his blog, Haley Farms. “This is a peaceful movement.  There are no demands, only prayers for good weather to help get the crops harvested in a quick and safe manner.”

The #occupycombine string was started by North Dakota farmer Mark Rohrich, according to Harvest Public Media.   Susan Crowell, editor at Ohio’s weekly Farm and Dairy, soon began using the #occupycombine hashtag on her Twitter feed.  Then she blogged on The Social Silo that #occupycombine was really about the rise in social media that connects folks in farm country.

“The OccupyCombine movement has nothing to do with our national economic discontent, but everything to do with the growing social media camaraderie and community that is building connections within agriculture online — a community that is also extending its voice to the nonfarm community in powerful ways,” wrote Crowell.

What’s not to love about a movement that has everything to do with connecting with “similar” people online – people who share a passion for helping provide a safe and abundant food supply for the growing world population?  Of course, I joined in the fun! Below is a sample of tweets from @LathamSeeds on

  • 20 Oct: Operation #OccupyCombine underway in NE #Iowa 2day! En route to Fayette County, one of the prettiest (& most productive) places statewide.
  • 25 Oct: Rode a few rounds & could see line where fungicide was applied. Yields increased 20-40 bushels. Whole field average 200 bu/A. #occupycombine
  • 25 Oct: On prowl 4 a combine in Wright County, IA! With so much barren ground, it should be easy 2 spot. #Harvest11 nears completion. #OccupyCombine (If only I would’ve remembered the hash tag!)

For a virtual snapshot of my combine rides this fall across Latham Country, Click Here.