By Julie Vrazel

Tired of invitations to play online farming games?

We’ve all been there—watched the commercials on TV, rejected the Facebook game requests and, just maybe, played it once.

I’ll admit it. I started my own online farm. And I wish reality was as simple as the games.

While they give a glimpse of agriculture to consumers, the games often give the impression farming is as easy as clicking the mouse. But don’t let them give you a false sense of reality. Farming and ranching is a tough business.

No gaming console can truly replace the great outdoors.


5. Not all farmers have irrigation systems. Equipment and natural resources vary between farms.

4. Agricultural labor isn’t readily available. The games show others willing to work your land. But that isn’t always the case. It’s difficult to find someone ready and willing to tend the land and harvest crops.

3. Crops don’t grow overnight. Fields are ready to harvest within hours in the gaming world. But the harsh reality is it takes months.

2. Farming doesn’t take place behind a screen. Gamers farm and ranch from the comfort of their couch, while farmers and ranchers—along with their crops and livestock—endure the elements daily.

1. Breaks? What are those? Farmers and ranchers can’t set aside daily tasks and come back to them when they feel like it.

The next time you log on to your online farm, think about the farmers and ranchers who are facing the issues that seem so trivial in the game. It’s their livelihood and every decision they make affects their production.

Sure, online farming and ranching is a fun and addicting experience. Maybe now you understand why farmers and ranchers are so passionate about what they do.