Saturday, June 22, 2024

Sharing Stories Through The Lens

How An Outside Perspective Helps Connect Others To Agriculture

⋅ BY CASSIDY NEMEC ⋅
ASSOCIATE EDITOR

It was not until Jack Gjesvold was a senior in high school that he stepped foot onto a farm. Today, just having wrapped up his sophomore year at Mississippi State University for forestry and habitat management, he has drawn quite the following through his photography and social media platforms.

Photographic Beginnings

Jack Gjesvold started Timber Solutions to promote agriculture throughout the Delta. “If you use social media correctly, it can be a huge tool for your business or even just sharing what you’re doing every day,” he said.

A Madison, Alabama, native, Jack Gjesvold is the son of an engineer and a business analyst. His first big exposure to agriculture came through a friend.

“I was never on a farm until I was in a church small group with my now roommate in college. His family owns a farm, and he would always tell us stories about all of the stuff they were doing. It sounded cool, so I went out there one day just to take pictures. I got some good pictures, and that turned into going out almost every weekend to take pictures.”

He said the farm then started using the pictures as promotional material for some of the companies. Gjesvold then began taking more pictures in the fields — lots of them.

“I saw that these pictures could be used, which led to me taking more pictures and working out there for a summer just to get experience,” Gjesvold said. “I started my social media around that time just to share those pictures.”

He said that he started Timber Solutions and realized he still did not have much ag experience so he wanted to get back out in the field.

“You can learn a lot from just being on a farm, but if you put yourself in the position where you’re out there working every day, you can learn a lot more.”

Gjesvold said he began to make connections all throughout the Delta, leading him to expand his knowledge base and social media impact. “I’ve been able to travel to Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, and all of these cool places that remind me it all just started back home taking pictures for fun.

“It’s so cool because it’s all different. The way they farm in Alabama is very different compared to the way they farm in the Delta. Growing up in one spot, you’re kind of limited to what you see.”

Social Media As A Tool

Ultimately, Gjesvold’s goal is to bring increased awareness to the agricultural industry by connecting others who are outside of it.

With all of the pros and cons that accompany social media, Gjesvold said the reasoning behind it all is key.

“You have to use it for the right intentions. It’s easy to turn social media into a negative, but if you use social media correctly, it can be a huge tool for your business or even just sharing what you’re doing every day.”

Gjesvold said he is more active on Instagram but also has Facebook and TikTok. “Starting out with all my pictures, Instagram was just the place to be. Now that I’ve been taking pictures at other farms and knowing a lot of the farmers are on Facebook, I’ve started posting some to Facebook for those farmers as well.”

Interacting with others across social media is important to Gjesvold. “I think that brings a ton to the table because you can learn from them, gain a unique perspective, and just learn a lot in general,” he said. “I’ve learned so much even about photography and videography from some of these guys. Most of them are older than me, and I’m 20 so still have a lot to learn.”

Riggs Ware is someone Gjesvold met early on who has become a friend and someone whose content he looks forward to seeing. “He does some cool stuff and promotes agriculture in the Delta. Riggs and I have started a YouTube channel called Turn Row Talk. We aren’t as active on that right now, but that’s our platform where we are trying to add a little bit more personality and force ourselves to get in front of the camera more.”

He said they have a podcast as well. “There are so many ag podcasts out there right now that you can listen to,” Gjesvold said. “Hazel Creek Farms and Clayton Lind started one, and they did a great job. It seems like more and more are popping up every day.”

In addition to Ware, Gjesvold said he enjoys following the XtremeAg group. “They’re goal is to educate farmers on different practices,” he said. “I obviously don’t educate farmers, but I’ve found that to be pretty cool over the past few months. It’s neat because I’ll learn things from the XtremeAg guys and then be learning the basics about those same things in my classes at Mississippi State. It connects dots; you learn a lot better [in the classroom] when you’ve seen it in the field.”

He emphasized the significance of having his platform to connect with and educate others.

“You have this platform that you can reach so many people,” he said. “Whether telling a story or promoting a business, it’s basically a free advertising tool. You just have to use it correctly.”

Bringing Awareness

Ultimately, Gjesvold’s goal is to bring increased awareness to the agricultural industry and do that by connecting others who are outside of it.

He spoke on how his outside perspective helps rather than hinders him in exploring the industry. “It’s all common knowledge to these kids who grew up on a farm. I feel like its great for me because I can relate to people who might not have grown up on a farm or even ever been on one.”

Gjesvold noted the many others throughout the industry doing the same thing he is doing in taking pictures and sharing what goes on around the farm. He said there were many stories before those past five years that had not yet been told. “I feel like a great way to use social media is to share those stories and explain what happens on the farm.”

“If you didn’t grow up on a farm, it’s all kind of a foreign concept that farmers are working in the field, on a forklift, in a tractor, checking pivots, and more. They might picture a farmer in a tractor, but they don’t really know what all a farmer does and what all goes into their operation.”

In the end, Gjesvold said he would love to continue Timber Solutions full time. “I don’t know if I’ll be able to do that or not, but it would be cool to see Timber Solutions become a full-time job. It’s very cool to be able to travel and see what other parts of the country have to offer with ag as well as meeting all the great people in between.”


“AGvocates In Their Fields” features those providing a voice for American agriculture through their platforms. If you know of an “agvocate” or group of agricultural advocates you would like to see featured, contact Cassidy Nemec at cnemec@onegrower.com.

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