Tweeting from the farm: Producers seize forum to share their stories
An interesting scoop on new media in agriculture! This story appeared first in the Sunday edition of the Wisconsin State Journal newspaper.
There are a variety of things a farmer should do when a calf is born: ensure the calf is breathing, get the cow standing so she can lick the calf clean and feed the calf the cow’s first milk.
And by all means, get the pictures up on Facebook as soon as possible.
Social media has changed the way people communicate, but for the agricultural community it’s become a particularly powerful tool.
Corn growers get on Twitter — while their combine is on autosteer — to tell the story of their harvest. Livestock producers show pictures of newborn animals. Farmers respond to videos by animal rights groups that allege animal abuse by posting videos from their farm.
It’s all an effort to get agriculture’s story out and reconnect with a population that has little contact with farms.
“I don’t know how any farm doesn’t do it,” said Blue Strom, who has a Facebook page as well as a website for her organic farm, Shady Blue Acres near Richland Center. “It’s such a great tool and it’s free, it’s silly not to spend even a small amount of time posting something.”
It’s more than a trend for farmers. For the past two years, there has been a concerted effort to get more ag producers involved in social media. The Alice in Dairyland program, the World Dairy Expo, the National Corn Growers Association (and its Wisconsin chapter) and a new organization called the AgChat Foundation all have organized sessions to educate farmers about the advantages of telling their story…MORE…