Corporate social media does not have to be boring

This column is the third in a series about Instagrammers who focus on prairie farming.

The grain-handling business can seem dull and dusty.

And in this era of Big Concrete, it can appear to lack history and grace, to operate and exist unmoored to tradition and grandeur.

But that’s not how it seems if you trawl through the Paterson GlobalFoods corporate account on Instagram (@patersonglobalfoods).

There you can warm to the season with an image of Santa Claus waving from the deck of the S.S. Soreldoc in Chicago in 1949, bask in the glow of the geometrically pleasing and shiny interior of a giant grain bin, enjoy some of the best farmer Instagramography of the Prairies, and see what Paterson is up to today.

It’s also where you can find out about job opportunities with the company. This isn’t just an account that tries to create good public relations for Paterson by running nice pics of agriculture. It also serves more concrete purposes for the century-old, family-owned company.

It’s not the only grain company account out there. It’s certainly not the only agriculture company corporate account out there trying to get your attention. For instance, Syngenta Canada runs a good account that focuses on “fun facts” about ag and tries to be educational.

But Paterson’s is my favourite. I look forward to its posts, especially the ones about its corporate history and its contests in which it gets farmers and others to submit their shots for posting.

It’s a well-curated feed of archival photos, newsy images, images of farming and pictures of farming. If I was a teacher trying to explain to kids today what agriculture is all about, I’d show them Instagram feeds like this.

You might notice this feature doesn’t have a photo of the curator of this account. I think it’s a guy called Mike, but I couldn’t get permission from Paterson to talk to him before I wrote this. So, I think it’s a guy called Mike, but for all I know he could be a clever bot or a great example of artificial intelligence.

Regardless, there’s a great love of agriculture and the grain trade behind this account, so if you’re into those things, go check it out.

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