Farm Credit Affiliation
Northwest Farm Credit Services
When Riley Slivka was 12, he documented his family's wheat and barley harvest near Winifred, Montana, through a video he shared on YouTube. He soon realized the impact that he could have in teaching people how food is produced, and continued producing videos showing activities on his family’s farm. Thousands of people viewed his video about shipping cattle, and his harvest videos have been shared across the country.
At 17, Riley invested money he’d earned from freelance video projects into a drone equipped with a high resolution camera. In between hauling semi loads of wheat, he filmed the harvest in the Missouri River Breaks, producing a dramatic video that spread across Facebook and Twitter. It captured the attention of Montana Senator Steve Daines, who named Riley "Montanan of the Week" for his efforts in Ag Advocacy.
“Many people in this world have no idea on how their food ends up on their tables, as they are often three generations removed from the farm. I believe that people should know about the work farmers do to help deliver their next meal,” says Riley.
Riley was a finalist in the YouFarm International contest featuring family farms across the world. He is producing a documentary featuring his rural hometown and has been hired to film a promotional piece for a robotic dairy farm in Iowa. He has also been active in advocating for agriculture through the FFA organization, winning a statewide video contest promoting his local FFA chapter and competing in the Ag Sales and Ag Communication contests at the state level.
Also a strong leader, Riley serves as president of his class, his local FFA and 4-H chapters, and as vice president of his school’s Business Professionals of America organization. He will graduate as class valedictorian this year with plans to pursue a degree in Ag Communications and Film. He hopes to continue communicating a positive view of food production to people who are removed from agriculture.
“Agriculture is changing rapidly, and with that, online video is as well,” says Riley. “Video producers like this will also help counter the messages spread by anti-agriculture organizations.”
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