In one of his latest videos, Kip Siegler explains how sick cows are treated on their third generation dairy farm.
June 05, 2019IMLAY TWP. — Less than two percent of Americans live on a farm so agriculture is a lifestyle and career combination that the average citizen isn't familiar with but Kip Siegler wants to change that.
He figured YouTube, a video sharing website that attracts 7 billion users every day, was an ideal platform to share scenes from life on the farm.
In mid-March, the Imlay Township dairy farmer launched his own YouTube channel, Kip Siegler Farming, and since then has posted 21 videos that detail everything from how they milk and feed their cows to handling manure and planting their crops.
"There's so much happening on the farm every day. My goal now is to do videos that document a whole season on a dairy farm," Kip said.
Kip and his brothers Mark and Greg milk 200 cows and grow hay, wheat, corn and soybeans with their parents, Jeff and Maryann. The brothers' grandparents, John and Jean Siegler, founded the operation, based on Brown City Road, in the 1950s.
He started his research in December by watching other farmers' videos.
"I thought 'I can do that...I like to talk.' I've found out it's trickier than it looks but I'm getting the hang of it," Kip said of using the recording equipment.
He taught himself how to edit the videos too, a task he tackles at night after chores.
"It's all trial and error. If you want to do something bad enough, you'll figure it out."
Currently, his channel has attracted 440 subscribers and Kip said he's reached viewers in the United States, Canada, Ireland, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and more.
"It seems to be a mix of both farmers and non-farmers," he said.
"One viewer from Miami, Florida said he appreciated being able to see where his food comes from."
His videos include a variety of footage. Sometimes he's walking through the barns or milking parlor while explaining how things work. Other times he positions his camera to capture scenes of him tending to cows or prepping equipment to plant corn. Sometimes his camera gets mounted directly on the equipment.
"When I first started doing these videos my brothers and dad were like 'what in the heck is he doing?' Now, they're coming around," he said with a laugh.
In addition to Kip's videos, the family has a Facebook page, Siegler Dairy Farm, where they post lots of farm photos, including many of the fourth generation of Sieglers to work on the farm. Earlier this spring they hosted Imlay City preschool classes on a field trip and the farm will sponsor a court at a 3 on 3 basketball tournament later this month at Imlay City High School where they'll hand out free milk.
"Farmers get so focused on their work but we need to find the time to market ourselves too," Kip said, referencing the tough times America's dairy farmers are facing currently that's due, in part, to oversupply.
"We've got to get kids drinking more milk and eating more ice cream."
Ultimately, Kip's goal is to get 100,000 channel subscribers.
"It's a big goal but I'm just getting warmed up," he said.
Maria Brown joined the Tri-City Times staff in 2003, the same year she earned a bachelor's degree in English from Calvin College. Born and raised in Imlay City, she and her family reside in the Capac area where she enjoys gardening and reading.