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Social Media Goes Rural…

April 12, 2010
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Farms have been using technology and modern equipment to provide the best possible agricultural products at the most competitive rates, but did you know that they’ve entered the very popular world of social media as well?

Modern farmers have now entered into the social networking realm utilizing Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others to network and promote agriculture to the masses.

Since AgChat made its appearance on Twitter in 2009, more than 2,000 people from seven different countries have participated in discussions.

Following the success of AgChat, the AgChat Foundation was formed with the mission to empower ranchers and farmers to network and tell their story through social media. The founders had met on AgChat and became friends.

According to an AgChat Foundation press release, research shows that “social media is a growing opportunity for farmers to have a stronger voice in educating people about the business of growing food, fuel, feed and fiber.”

“I’d say the effort Ray (Prock) and I spearheaded to raise awareness in the economic crisis for dairy farms was where we began to realize how well we could do in telling our stories online. It’s also the first time some of us really focused toward a common goal,” stated Mike Haley. “We think AgChat Foundation will help other farmers share their experiences as we learn from each other about how to put the true faces and stories of American agriculture.”

AgChat focusses on four programs:

  • Stategic Agvocacy Coordination – to empower the voice of agriculture through efforts industry-wide.
  • Technology Scholarships – Enabling full use of social media by equiping farmers with the necessary infrastructure.
  • Agvocacy Training 2.0 – Provide farmers with the education farmers need in order to move up the technology ladders by moving mindsets.
  • Data Analysis – To provide the farmers with the tools they need to aid agvocates in their targeted efforts within their community.

Jeff Fowle points out that the programs are meant to be broad, “It becomes very apparent through social media that there is a great diversity of farm stories. My family runs our ranch one way and we may have a neighbor across the valley that makes very different choices. The real value of social media comes from farmers telling their own story from their own perspective.”

If you want to take advange of AgChat Foundation, you can find them
On the web – http://agchat.org/
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/AgChatFoundation?ref=ts
LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=1890566&trk=anetsrch_name&goback=.mfc_13952898_0.gdr_1270172537079
YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/agchat

The original AgChat on Twitter is still going strong at http://twitter.com/agchat, on Tuesday evenings at 8 pm EST.

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Arizona Farm Bureau is a grassroots organization dedicated to preserving and improving the Agriculture industry through member involvement in education, political activities, programs and services.

For more information contact Julie Murphree at (480) 635-3607 or go to http://www.azfb.org.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Janice permalink
    April 17, 2010 3:18 pm

    Julie — Thanks so much for the attention on AgChat Foundation. We hope to count lots of Arizonans in our midst on Facebook, Twitter, etc. I especially hope to see the cotton farmers join us!

  2. April 21, 2010 11:33 pm

    I just wrote about this phenomenon on the Farm to Table blog! I think social media is not only a great mechanism for farmers across the country to interact, but another way for consumers to get closer to the food they eat. Thanks for the post!
    http://www.farmtotableonline.org/2010/04/growing-more-than-food-social-media-and-philadelphia-farmers/

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