In May 2023, the Economic Policy Institute reported that the most common jobs among young people are in the education and health services, retail and wholesale trade, leisure and hospitality industries, and professional and business services industries. One occupation was missing conspicuously from the list and other reports on preferred careers among young people. In most regions across the world, farming is rarely associated with young people, the rise in millennials who are gardening in their backyards or balconies notwithstanding. One young woman in Nebraska is changing the face of farming, and documenting her life transforming rented grounds into thriving farms on social media. Here is everything you should know about the phenomenal Laura Farms.

The Family Business

Young people in the farming business are rare, but young women in their early twenties are practically unicorns in the business. Lara Carlson-Wilson, popularly known as Laura Farms, is a 22-year-old farmer from Hamilton County, Nebraska – Laura comes from a family of farmers and is actually just carrying on the family tradition. Her family history in the United States dates back to 1910, when her great-great-grandparents moved into the country from Sweden, settling in Nebraska and starting Carlson Farms. Initially, they started growing crops, using John Deere tractors for field preparation and planting in rows to ease irrigation. They gradually added new crops, and added hog and cattle to the operation. By the time Laura entered her teenage years, Carlson Farms was a full-blown commercial crop, pig, and dairy operation.

Laura’s passion for farming is inborn. She joined the family business officially at 13, when she started her own herd of cows. At the time, she worked with her grandfather and father on the family farm. She grew her herd, but had to take a hiatus a few years later to go to Southeast Community College, where she studied Business Administration. Although she knew she would wind up doing farming like the Carlson generations that came before her, she tried her hand at different things, including data vending and nannying, and even considered joining the military, or becoming an athletic coach. Eventually, Laura made her way back to Carlson Farms and started her journey as a full-time farmer.

The Fifth-Generation Farmer

Laura became a professional full-fledged farmer in 2020, under the watch of her father and grandfather. Initially, she produced white and yellow corn, rye, soybeans, and turnips, while still raising pigs and cattle at Carlson Farms. All the while, she itched to venture out on her own, but didn’t have enough resources to purchase, equip, and run a farm on the scale she desired. At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Laura came up with the genius idea of leasing large tracks of land and transforming them into profitable farms. She rented an initial 160 acres, and started the commercial production of soybeans and corn. When she married Grant, a fellow farmer, the two combined their skills and expertise, and have been leasing fields and transforming them into commercial farms for over three years.

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From Laura Carlson-Wilson to Laura Farms

Laura harnesses the connectivity and power of social media to share her love for farming and educate her followers – her transformation into Laura Farms started on Twitter. A popular page on Twitter dubbed “Ag of The World” noticed the rising young farmer, and engaged her to run the page for a week, which. Laura spent showing followers her activities on her family and rented farms in Nebraska. By the end of the week, Laura had enjoyed her time using the platform to share her adventures as a farmer so much, that she started posting similar content on her Twitter. She got her big break when she posted a video of the inside of a tractor which went viral, and she realized that someone would post it on YouTube if she didn’t, prompting her to sign up on YouTube under the name Laura Farms.

Laura Farms

@Laura Farms has almost 450,000 subscribers and over 103 million views on YouTube. In her description, Laura counts down the number of years she’s been practicing farming, and invites her followers and viewers to learn from her, and share their knowledge of farming. Laura favors vlog-style content, in which she takes viewers with her on different activities on her farm. In her introductory video, Laura describes her hands-on approach to farming, and promises an authentic and unfiltered view of her experiences. In subsequent videos, Laura impresses followers by operating huge tractors effortlessly, fixing overhead sprinklers, planting and spraying crops, fertilizing plants, and harvesting them when ready. Laura reaches millions of people with her videos, with her most viewed attracting 2.8 million, 2.3 million, and 2.2. million views – 12 videos have attracted over a million views each.

Laura’s social media reach goes beyond YouTube. She has almost 200,000 followers on  Instagram, runings regular Q&A sessions to share her knowledge on farming with her followers. Laura also hosts interactive community sessions on Patreon, offering four levels of membership ranging from Seedling to Daddy Plant, from $2 per month At the Seedling Level, Laura names a corn plant after the subscriber, and lets them watch the plant grow to maturity. At the Baby Plant level, subscribers get the same benefits as the first group but the added benefit of interacting with Laura. Members in the third tier, which Laura calls the Mommy Plant level, get access to an interactive community with Lauren, and footage of the plant they sponsored. The final level of membership, known as the Daddy Plant level – so far, Lauren has 112 subscribers on the platform.

Sponsors and Partners

In her three years as a social media content creator, Laura has become an influencer. She acknowledges the title on her LinkedIn. Naturally, several companies begged to work with her to promote farm inputs and other agriculture-related products. She chose two companies and has maintained a long-term relationship with both. Laura’s main sponsor is UMC, a producer, and distributor of irrigation systems in the United States. The company acknowledges and displays details of its collaboration with Laura prominently on its website. Besides UMC, Laura works with Bunker Branding Co. However, the collaboration is not a sponsorship like her collaboration with UMC. Rather, Bunker Branding Co. and Laura entered an agreement where the company produces branded merchandise and sells them on its website. The deal covers three items; a “Laura Farms T-Shirt”, a “Labor of Love T-Shirt,” and an “Acres T-Shirt”,

All Work, No Play

Watching Laura’s videos on YouTube, posts on Instagram, and interactions with her community on Patreon, one may be forgiven to think that all she does is work. She is on the farm every day, sometimes for hours at a time, but as she likes to remind her followers, Laura sets aside some time to have fun with her husband. Laura loves the outdoors – she wakeboards and rides her dirt bike with Grant on trails in Nebraska. She and Grant have two dogs, which they take on walks to unwind after long days on the farm.

Laura is keeping her pledge to educate and entertain her followers with her activities on and off the farm. In some of her most recent videos, she’s taken them along on a visit to a coffee farm in Hawaii, shown off a new tractor and an impressive corn crop, and acknowledged women in agriculture. She promises to continue on this tack, working with Grant to encourage more young people to pursue agriculture, especially the female gender.

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As a Freelance Writer at Biography Pedia, I manage every aspect of our content creation, from rigorous research to narrative excellence, ensuring precision and integrity in our work. Our comprehensive editorial management includes deep investigation, narrative development, and maintaining high standards of quality.

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