In order to expand the offerings at Empire Farm Days, New York’s premier ag trade show, this summer we’ve invited in a number of rising social media agvocates to share stories, information and experiences – and we’re even going to have a comedian doing a set on Friday evening!

On Instagram, Shayna Stevens is @thefamilyfarmer. She is a mother of three, a photographer and dairy farmer. “I have always had a love for farming. After I started having children, I found a passion for capturing the memories we create on the farm,” she said. “It’s my way to show the world a glimpse of our lifestyle … My passion has quickly become my way of supporting my family. I love traveling to farms to capture their story and their way of life.”

Stevens, based in Massachusetts, has been featured on the SharkFarmer Podcast, in Click Magazine and has won a Reader’s Choice Award for the Smithsonian photo contest.

“When it comes to portraying your farm on social media or to the general public, it’s so important to show who you are and humanize your brand,” she said. “At Empire Farm Days, I will be talking about the importance of good photos for social media and websites and how important it is to portray your farm as your brand and who you are as a human/family/business, along with how to take good photos and what to look for when hiring a photographer for your business.”

Agvocates & entertainment coming to Empire Farm Days

Coming to Empire Farm Days this August are (L – R) Shayna Stevens, Kennedy Youngren, Troy Bishopp and Joy Nystrom.

Coming in from Minnesota is Kennedy Youngren (@the.legendairy.dietitian), a passionate advocate for agriculture, nutrition and all things dairy. She knows life on the farm – and life in general – can be quite hectic, so she’ll be focusing on sharing information on how to fuel farmer bodies the best way possible, from haying through harvest and beyond.

One of Country Folks’s favorite editorialists, the Grass Whisperer Troy Bishopp (@thegrasswhisperer63), will be on site to wax poetic about rotational grazing, interacting with the media and more. He works as a farmer and with the Soil & Water Conservation District in Madison County, NY.

Also on tap is Joy Nystrom, a former dairy farmer and cheesemaker and now an “almost-famous” comedian. After pursuing a dairy science degree at Virginia Tech, she worked on a number of dairy farms, a buffalo farm and a vegetable farm. She then made the leap to the other side of milk processing, making cheese in New York City. She then decided to try stand-up comedy because (in her words) “first, ‘cause she’s funny and second, to bring agriculture to everyone.”

“I use humor to agvocate for the farm world, bringing light and awareness to things like ‘how could global warming be caused by cows, when we drive cars?’ Cows are like golden retrievers,” she said.

Guest speaker dates and times will be announced closer to the show. And there may be more special guests to announce, so look for updates in future issues of Country Folks!

Empire Farm Days is scheduled for Aug. 3 – 5 this year, again at Palladino Farms in Pompey, NY. For more information, find Empire Farm Days on social media or visit