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How personal branding can build public trust

Building and managing a brand has many advantages, from representing agriculture positively to the rest of the world, to helping other farmers, to improving profitability.
What motivates a producer to build a brand varies.
For example, when Listowel, Ont.-area pork producer Stewart Skinner of Stonaleen Farms, started to build his Modern Farmer brand a decade ago, his focus was global. The Feeding Nine Billion movement had started, and he wanted to be part of it.
So, he developed a brand that reflected his belief in technology and tradition.
“Modern Farmer was an acknowledgment that parts of what we do are very current and supported by technology, and other parts can be traced back to our heritage, to what my great grandfather did as a farmer,” Skinner says.
On social media, he started working his brand primarily as a guest writer on others’ blogs but found the best results on Twitter. There, he’s part of a helpful community of pork producers worldwide dedicated to producing pork as efficiently as possible.
Skinner says he has yet to find a way to truly monetize Modern Farmer. But meeting other producers in his network for exchanging information, problem-solving, and marketing has saved him hours trying to find answers and contacts alone.
That’s deepened his conviction to stick with his brand.
“I won’t give it up,” he says. “A magazine tried to buy my Twitter handle from me, but I refused to sell it. Modern Farmer represents what I believe in, and that’s important to me.”
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