By: Shannon Weitjes
Facebook. Twitter. Blogging. Foursquare. Youtube…the list goes on and on. Social media can now be considered a serious way of communication and necessary tool to get information across throughout many industries, including agriculture. While face-to-face communication is still widely used in the agricultural industry today – from farmers getting together to chat at morning coffee every morning to people stopped in the middle of a country road chatting about the weather, social media is weaving its way into the agricultural industry as well.
I’ve seen farmers post videos of themselves harvesting live from the tractor and people tweeting from an agricultural industry meeting. Pictures are posted to Facebook, people check in at meetings and even from their farms. Ag blogs pervade the internet, sharing information about every aspect of agriculture (you’re reading one of those blogs now!). Social media is important and is a fast, easy, and great way to connect people to the day-to-day lives and activities of those working in agriculture.
All sorts of agricultural organizations utilize social media to connect to consumers and share information that they wouldn’t otherwise get. The Nebraska Pork Producers use Facebook, Twitter, Blogging and even YouTube and videos to connect with consumers. The video series that Rebekah Spader is doing about hogs and their pregnancy process is a fantastic example of using social media to share exciting and important information with those who wouldn’t normally get to see the entire process. Agricultural organizations are using social media outlets to tell the story of agriculture, which is exciting and necessary to keep consumers up-to-date about what happens in the industry.
Social media is here to stay; it isn’t just a trend that will be gone by next year. Because only a small portion of the population lives on a farm or ranch or is in the agricultural industry, social media is a great tool to use to share information with the consumers who support the industry. Sharing agriculture’s story via Facebook updates, tweets, blogs, or videos is a great way to include consumers in the agricultural industry.
Want to see what we’re talking about? Use the following links to see examples of and more information on the social media revolution and agriculture.
–Nebraska Corn Board’s YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCOqZK408Zw&list=UUdf0XAslOEvowZJcuJ8I5hQ&index=2&feature=plcp
–Rebekah Spader’s video blog on hog pregnancy: https://nepork.wordpress.com/2011/12/23/bringing-a-new-meaning-to-hands-on-learning/
— “Connecting Gate to Plate” blog: http://www.causematters.com/uncategorized/advancing-social-media-for-agriculture/
— “Feed Yard Foodie” blog (tales from a cattle feed yard in Nebraska): http://feedyardfoodie.wordpress.com/
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