Archive for the ‘social media’ Category

Final Farewell

By: DeEtta Bohling, Communications Specialist

Today is the day. After nearly three years, this is my last day in the Kansas Corn & Grain Sorghum office.

It has been a pleasure to work with all our growers and to meet so many genuine folks. Thanks to social media, I’ve been able to connect and learn from farmers across the nation—and world. With the U.S. Grains Council I had the opportunity to travel with corn growers to China for the Spring Corn Tour last May. I learned about Chinese corn production and gained more knowledge about exports.

2011 Spring Crop Tour to China with U.S. Grains Council

One of my favorite projects over the past year has been CommonGround Kansas. I’ve met so many strong and talented women who inspire me. Thanks to each of the volunteers who have been a pleasure to work with.

CommonGround Shared Voices Conference

I’m leaving the communications specialist position with a strong social media presence on Facebook and Twitter, a brand new website (if you haven’t checked it out yet, please do), new logos for the Kansas Corn Growers Association, Kansas Corn Commission, Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers, and branding for Agriland at the Kansas State Fair.

Topeka Farm Show Display

The best compliment I received came from one of our corn growers at Commodity Classic the first year I attended. He asked me to tell him about my family farm back home and was shocked when I informed him that I didn’t grow up on a farm and I didn’t study agriculture in school. I must have blended in well! He asked how I was able to share so much about agriculture though our website and social media platforms and I explained that everything I had learned had come from the research I did or the folks I met.

Wiscombe plants corn near Overbrook, KS

I thank those who answered my e-mails, tweets, and Facebook questions. A special thanks to Pat and Mary Ross and Kirk Wiscombe for letting me visit their farms each time I asked. I greatly appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedules to teach this Iowa girl a few things about Kansas agriculture!

At Ross-Nunemaker Farms in Lawrence, KS

I’m on to new adventures at William Jewell College in Liberty, MO where I’ll be the Communications Manager for the Harriman-Jewell Series. Please continue to keep in touch with me on Facebook and Twitter! It’s been a pleasure getting to know each of you.

Farewell,

DeEtta

Social Media & the Customer Experience

By DeEtta Bohling, Communications Specialist

Social media is a large part of my life. Some of it was on accident, but a lot of it I brought on myself. Even five years ago I wouldn’t have thought social media would be such a large part of my career. I currently manage social media for Kansas Corn and Grain Sorghum through this blog, Twitter, Facebook and occasionally YouTube. Away from my job responsibilies checking Twitter and Facebook are a regular part of my daily routine and I’m currently obsessed with Pinterest and finding the latest fashions, graphic design inspiration and dinner recipes.

My friend Travis (former news producer and currently the Multi-Media Producer-in-Residence at Wartburg College) would be very disappointed to hear that I haven’t watched the morning or evening news in… well, nearly two years. Don’t worry, I don’t have my head buried in the sand. I am up to date on current events thanks to text alerts from my local news station and following various news outlets through social media.

Social media isn’t a trend and it isn’t going away any time soon. It is revolutionizing the way we distribute and obtain information. So, what does this mean for companies, and specifically the agricultural industry?

I can instantly convey a message to my 2,000 followers. Will they all see it? Most certainly not, but it has the potential to spread like wildfire. People share experiences and advice through social media. This is done instantaneous through social media. In the past, a person would probably have to wait to tell his/her friends about an experience. Today, with the use of smartphones and tablets, we can send a message (factual or not, good or bad) about a grocery store product or a conversation with farmer instantly to the internet.

My friend/mentor, Dr. Bill Withers recently posted this photo on Facebook about a visit to Granite City:

The caption read, “It’s THIS SIMPLE! And I asked our waitress if she was trained to do this… “Yes!” Great QCS [Quality Customer Service]. My Granite City leftover container showed Dish, Date, Server, and “GC” brand-logo, all signed by her… http://www.gcfb.net/

Did I click on the link which lead to their website? Yep, sure did! Did I happen to check out the restaurant locations in my area and browse the menu too? Uh-huh.

Bill also wrote, “And, would I ask for Sam’s server-section next time down there? Of course. When you TRAIN for QCS, everyone wins, trust me. And yes, “leftovers” were delicious tonight!”

Not only did his experience leave a good impression on him, but also his Facebook followers- including myself.

Word-of-mouth is huge and a very valuable part of marketing. 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations; 14% trust advertisements. While it’s great for ag groups to sponsor events and purchase media buys, it’s obvious that the farmer-consumer conversations are a must. This is one of the many reasons I enjoy the CommonGround movement so much. Our farm women volunteers do their best to reach out to the consumer (both in person and through social media) to tell them about their farms and the food they produce. One good conversation with a consumer is valuable. Hopefully, that consumer will share the good experience she had with others.

Ross Schafer, the author of Nobody Moved Your Cheese, Customer Empathy, The Customer Shourts back, Are You Still Relevant, and Grab More Market Share recently spoke at the National Agri-Marketing Conference. One of the many great things he said was, “When you study human behavior, you will always win.” Think about that for a moment. When you’re at a store, what motivates you to buy certain products? Name brand? Cost? Health? Convenience?

Emotions. Emotions influence every purchase decision. When consumers write to complain about a business they often use the words rejected, unimportant, or embarrassed. Farmers need to be able to communicate to consumers in a way that shows them that their concerns are valid and that they care. Let’s not overthink this- people like to feel cared for. 

Women don’t just buy a brand- they join it then talk about it. You better believe that I’ll be talking about good purchasing experiences (such as my recent purchase from Gracie & Me Design on Etsy) and bad ones (my recent DISH fiasco) on social media platforms.

Today, consumers want NOW. The faster we can respond, the better. “Normal business hours” no longer exist. Consumers can shop online at all hours and more and more banks are opening on Sundays or have later hours.

Earlier I mentioned how Bill told all his Facebook followers about his great experience with Granite City.  He went a step further and commended the restaurant, personally. Bill received the following response shortly later, which was also documented on Facebook:

Social customer service at its best? Most definitely.

The agricultural industry will continue to grow in social media. (If you don’t think we’re already active, just search #agchat or #foodchat on Twitter.) My hope is that though face to face conversations, social media and traditional media, farmers will continue to build relationships with consumers. So many folks are disconnected from livestock and fields but want to know more about food. They are listening. Are we talking? More importantly do we care for our consumers? Certainly! Let’s show them by going above and beyond.

 
Additional resources:

9 Ways Top Brands Use Social Media for Better Customer Service

Supermarkets and the social Web

Social Media- Generation II

Cause Matters: Ag & Food Resources

Give Good Customer Service Through Social Media

How Social Media has Changed Customer Service

Kansas Joins CommonGround Program

Farmers Greet Guests with Delicious Food and Genuine Conversations at State Launch

The Kansas State University Lady Wildcats may have shot better hoops than the University of Kansas Lady Jayhawks Saturday night, but the real winners were the farm women who started a conversation about food at Allen Fieldhouse prior to the game.  Teresa Brandenburg, Kara James and LaVell Winsor hosted dinner to launch the Kansas arm of the CommonGround program—a national grassroots movement, designed to bridge the gap between the women who grow food and the women who buy it.

The event brought together members of the media, academics and government officials to discuss modern farming. During the dinner, guests were invited to partake in conversation about farming and food while enjoying delicious food and the company of the new Kansas CommonGround volunteer farmers.

The reason Kansas became a part of the CommonGround movement was clear during dinner as Alton, Kan. CommonGround volunteer, Teresa Brandenburg explained, “many consumers are confronted by a barrage of inaccurate information and rumors about food. All three of us (volunteers) want to share our stories and personal understanding of agriculture and food.” She also noted, “who is better to tell that story than someone like me, a mom, and a farmer?” Throughout the dinner, the volunteers shared anecdotes from their farm and used their agriculture knowledge and expertise to address guest’s concerns about our nation’s food supply.

Many questions were about the locavore movement and organic farming, but LaVell Winsor, a grain farmer from Grantville, Kan. said, “many of the topics we discussed centered around the facts on organics and implications of a shift toward eating locally produced foods.” She enjoyed being able to address misconceptions throughout the evening. “Some of the attendees pulled me into a discussion on the benefits of organics to ask for my thoughts.  I explained that, while farmers in our country do provide a variety of healthy, safe options, there is no evidence that organic production results in a more nutritious, healthier choice. Really, they could rest assured that they were providing their family with the wholesome nourishment they need whether they buy organic or conventionally produced foods. It was great being able to put a face and a name with agriculture so that people knew they can contact a real person about farming and food!”

To close out the evening, guest were encouraged to fill their reusable CommonGround grocery bags with facts about food production and recipes the volunteers shared from their own kitchens. Following the dinner, the entire group was invited to join in the festivities and watch the University of Kansas women’s basketball team take on their rivals from Manhattan.

“As a Kansas CommonGround volunteer, I hope our guests left with a better understanding of how food is grown and that, as farmers, we want to speak with the public about what we do,” said Karra James, CommonGround volunteer from Clay Center, Kan. “When farmers like myself say something about food I think our message comes from a more genuine place because we are connected directly to agriculture.”

The CommonGround program is moving forward in 15 states including Colorado, Delaware, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dokata, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and South Dakota. The movement will continue to grow and expand nationwide.

Want to join the CommonGround Conversation? Stay tuned for more CommonGround Kansas updates and what you can to help.

Website: www.FindOurCommonGround.com

YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/FindOurCommonGround

Twitter: www.twitter.com/commongroundks

Twitter Hashtag: #CGConvo

Facebook: www.facebook.com/CommonGroundKansas

Blog: http://commongroundkansas.wordpress.com/

About the volunteers:

Teresa Brandenburg from Alton, Kansas

Teresa was the 2006 American Honey Princess, crown and all.  But that hardly serves as her only contribution to agriculture. Starting out, Teresa grew up in a small town in Iowa where her dad drove a truck hauling farm commodities. Teresa started raising livestock with her family when she was 10.  Now, she and her husband, Luke, are the fourth generation on his family’s farm. Their son, Jacob, represents the fifth generation.  She is currently serving on the Kansas Soybean Association Board of Directors, and enjoys working with her husband to raise cattle, corn, milo, soybeans and wheat.

LaVell Winsor from Grantville, Kansas

LaVell has a unique perspective on agriculture, having worked as a farmer with responsibility for merchandising and managing grain sales while keeping financial records, and outside of the farm with other growers as a business consultant specializing in risk-management.  Coupled with her previous experience in succession and estate planning, LaVell understands the vast array of financial issues facing farmers and agriculture as a whole.

Karra James From Clay Center, Kansas

Karra works with her husband Derek on his parent’s farm to grow grain, raise cattle and, more importantly, their elementary school-aged son and daughter.  Having earned a degree in Food Science and worked in the food safety field, Kara understands the science behind many of the questions consumers have about their food. As she increases her involvement on the farm, she also broadens her perspective on the modern technologies and techniques they use every day.

Lori Deyoe From Ulysses, Kansas

Farming is Lori’s heritage from several generations back on both sides of her family, and her work has always reflected that. She is a farmer’s daughter, the wife of a cattleman and mom to two children. Even her education, a degree in agricultural economics with minors in animal science and women’s studies from Kansas State University, is rooted in agriculture. Before Lori and her husband started a family, she worked as the assistant grain manager at an elevator in town. And currently, Lori coordinates logistics for their small beef feed yard; handles the accounting; and writes on their blog about agriculture. No need to say it – this woman is all about farming.

About CommonGround™

CommonGround is a grassroots movement to foster conversation among women – on farms and in cities – about where our food comes from. CommonGround was developed by the United Soybean Board (USB) and National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) in an effort to give farm women the opportunity to speak with consumers using a wide range of activities. USB and NCGA provide support and a platform for the volunteers to tell their stories. The opinions and statements made by the volunteers are not necessarily representative of the policies and opinions of USB or NCGA.

Food Day- 365

By: DeEtta Bohling, Communications Specialist

A couple weeks ago I noticed something different about the bananas I picked up at the grocery store. They had a sticker on them advertising some sort of holiday, called “Food Day,” taking place on October 24. Naturally, being an advocate for agriculture, I was instantly curious.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has launched Food Day, a campaign to “change the way Americans eat and think about food.” CSPI says that Food Day is designed to “encourage people to support healthy, affordable food grown in a sustainable, humane way.” Sounds like a slogan for agriculture to me! Farmers want to produce healthy food for their families, their communities and the rest of the world. We all want affordable food. Farmers and ranchers are practicing sustainability and humane animal welfare daily.

On the Food Day website, there are six key points outlined as goals. I’ve got beef with some of these points and would like to go through each of them to share some thoughts.

1) Reduce diet-related disease by promoting safe, healthy foods.

Of course! Farmers and ranchers want to provide the world with safe, healthy and affordable food. Remember that these folks feed their families the food they produce.

2) Support sustainable farms and limit subsidies to big agribusiness.
Farmers were the first environmentalists. With today’s farming techniques, it’s possible to have great yields, while improving the soil and protecting the environment. By caring for the land and the environment, farmers can continue producing great crops that help provide quality, safe food. Often times, farm land is passed down through generations so growers want to ensure that their land is well cared for. I won’t get into subsidies but Caci, a farm wife from South Carolina, explains farm subsidies further on her blog.

3) Expand access to food and alleviate hunger.
Farmers and ranchers support efforts to alleviate hunger in our own country, as well as across the globe. You will find that these folks donate to food banks and a variety of charitable causes. Here’s just one example. Today, one farmer produces enough food in one year to feed 156 people. If we relied on the food production systems of 1950, as some are suggesting, approximately 150 million people living in the U.S. today would be without food. That’s everyone in the 13 largest U.S. states, hungry! Additionally, placing restrictions of the U.S. food system that limit the ability to produce the food we need will increase the cost of food and limit healthy, affordable food choices for all of us, including those who can least afford it. Today’s food system works to address hunger and food insecurity, and to meet the challenge of feeding a growing global population.

4) Protect the environment & animals by reforming factory farms.
Wait, what exactly is a factory farm? As Chuck Jolley, a Kansas City freelance writer wrote for The Pork Network, “Those big, bad, evil factory farms? Most of them are run by your neighbor, his wife and kids. Maybe there are even a few grandchildren lending a hand. And they offer employment in areas where there aren’t a lot of other opportunities. They are the leading businesses in rural America, producing billions of dollars worth of goods at a scant few pennies on the dollar. They feed most Americans and a stunning portion of the rest of the world and, hopefully, your neighbor, his wife and kids can go to bed at night, satisfied with a job well-done and a lifestyle they love.”

As Dawn Caldwell, a Nebraska producer writes in her blog. “Regardless, if we have 10 or 10,000 animals, if we don’t treat them well, they won’t treat us well. It takes a special kind of person to own or work on a farm – there aren’t many of us left here in the U.S. We are a few proud folks doing our best to continually improve farming methods and products for a rapidly growing population.”

Today, 98 percent of all farms are owned by individuals, family partnerships or family corporations. Actually, just two percent of America’s farms and ranches are owned by non-family corporations. Size shouldn’t define a family farm or “factory farm”. If global food production is to more than double by 2050, there’s enough work to be done by both large and small farms.

Like you, farmers and ranchers expect every ounce of their food to be healthy, affordable, and most importantly, safe. That is why they go to great lengths to care for their animals. Not only is the right thing to do, but animals that are threatened or sick simply will not produce as well as healthy animals. With constant temperature monitoring and on-call veterinary care, America’s farmer and ranchers pride themselves on adhering to the strictest quality assurance and certification standards.

5) Promote health by curbing junk-food marketing to kids
The farmers I know are supportive of free enterprise. Parents are best equipped to make nutritional decisions for their families. The agricultural community wants to continue an open dialogue with consumers. If you have questions concerning the production of your food, ask a farmer. Here is a list of producers who would be happy to address your questions and concerns.

6) Support fair conditions for food and farm workers.
Agriculture is a vital part of our lives and our economy. U.S. agriculture and related industries account for one in 12 jobs nationwide. We want to provide fair wages and conditions for all workers.

Food Day conversations and activities will be taking place across the nation on October 24 but farmers and ranchers are speaking up about the food they produce every day. Now, more than ever, farmers are noticing the disconnect between agriculture and the consumer and are doing something about it. Join the conversations on Twitter regarding food production by following #FoodD, #FoodDay365 and #CGconvo. Below is a list of resources that may be helpful in answering your questions about food.

Resources:
Registered Dietitian’s Food Day Pledge Takes Aim at What’s Wrong With Most Advice

Shouldn’t Every Day be Food Day?, The Center For Food Integrity

Real Farmers, Real Food

Food Dialogues, U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance

CommonGround

Cause Matters, Connecting Gate to Plate

Connecting with Consumers

By: DeEtta Bohling, Communications Specialist

“Consumers don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Makes sense right? A salesman may be very knowledgeable about the product he is selling but unless he has a sincere interest in me and my needs or wants, I’m simply not interested in doing business with that salesperson and possibly, that company.

With that said, farmers and ranchers shouldn’t be surprised by consumers wanting to know that they care about the health of their family- someone they may not personally know. A study done by the Center for Food Integrity (CFI) showed that of early adopters, 86 percent had done an online search on food nutrition in the past six months. Seventy-nine percent had searched the safety of food, and over 40 percent searched topic including the use of technology in growing food, humane treatment of animals raised for food, and environmental sustainability in farming.

Who are these “early adopters” I speak of? Early adopters are the folks in society most capable of changing consumer attitudes. The rest of society tends to follow these early adapters, which is why CFI felt it was important to study this group and the role websites and social media play in forming their opinions on food. Knowing this information makes it possible for agricultural groups better engage these folks and determine how to better communicate with them.

Do you remember when the iPod first hit the market? Those that bought them when they first came out would be considered early adopters. By 2007, Apple sold over 100 million iPods.

So as farmers and ranchers, how can you connect with your consumers? Today it is easier than ever to communicate with people around the world. Forty-eight percent of early adopters indicated that they frequently visit Facebook and 30 percent they frequently use YouTube.

Just under half of early adopters (46%) believed that the information found on the Internet strongly helped to shape their opinions on the safety of food. Four out of 10 (41%) believed that information they found on the Internet strongly helped to shape their opinions about the nutrition of food. About one out of three (35%) believed this information strongly helped to shape their opinions about the humane treatment of animals raised for food and environmental sustainability in farming.

There’s no question that the internet and social media shape opinions. Even through social media, farmers can show that they care for the consumer. What are you doing to communicate with society about your farming practices and the food you produce? Be it a Facebook account, blog, or letter to the editor, listen to the concerns of consumers and be proactive.

View the research- 2011 Early Adopter Web Research: Targeting Early Adopters to Build Consumer Trust

Become an advocate for agriculture!

Chinese agriculture and America’s role

Kansas Corn and Grain Sorghum communications specialist, DeEtta Bohling recently returned from Northeast China as a delegate on the U.S. Grains Council’s Corn Tour. Through Twitter, she met Meghan Blythe who also just returned from China as a part of Kansas State’s Animal Science program. DeEtta got Meghan’s take on the experience and the lessons she learned agriculture in China.

DB: Meghan, tell me a little about yourself. Agriculture has always been an important part of your life, I assume it will also play a role in your future career?

MB: I grew up on an Angus Cattle Ranch in White City, Kan. Wanting to stay involved in the agriculture industry, I came to Kansas State University to major in Agriculture Economics. With this degree I hope to be a source of objective facts for the agriculture industry and government in the future.

DB: I was introduced to you by your mom on Twitter (@DebbieLB) and was interested in your trip to China, as I recently returned from China as well. You went on behalf of the Animal Science department at K-State University, correct?

The study abroad group

MB: Yes, I embarked on this trip to China along with 15 other students and 2 professors through the Animal Science department at K-State. We spent 12 days abroad visiting Chinese farms and agriculture firms in addition to touring the country.

DB: How does animal agriculture differ in China compared to the United States?

MB: After visiting many Chinese farms, I realized that the American definition of a “farm” was vastly different than the Chinese definition. A farm by U.S. standards is organized, large-scale, and uses production methods based on sound science and efficiency, but the Chinese farms are small-scale, with methods rooted in history and tradition. This mindset took some adjustment. The first beef cattle farm we visited was described as large; however, this feedlot held a total of 1,000 head.

DB: The United States has very strict regulations when it comes to food production. What safety concerns does China have when it comes to food and what precautions do they take?

A man sleeping on the meat counter

MB: The largest shock I got was not from the food or the vast crowds or the pollution, it was the wholesale meat market. The market conditions can only be described in one way… unsanitary. The building that housed the meat market was room temperature, on the verge of being hot, and in the short 5 minutes that I was there I saw vendors sleeping on the meat counters and picking up meat that had fallen in the aisles. Seeing the meat market conditions made me appreciate the safe food supply established in America.

DB: Did you tour any crop fields or have an opportunity to speak to the farmers and ranchers?

MB: While our tour was mainly animal agriculture focuses, we did tour some vegetable patches and greenhouses and drove past many crop fields. In an agriculture museum in Xian (central China), I recognized an old, wooden plow on display. It was a plow designed to be pulled behind oxen like that which I had seen in history books depicting farming methods of the 1800’s. The plaque next to this plow stated that this tool was used in China only 50 years ago in the 1960’s!

DB: In speaking with a hog producer in NE China, he mentioned that hog prices were historically high and that high corn prices were affecting profits. He also said there were concerns for a new foot and mouth disease variants. Did you hear of this in the areas you visited?

MB: In the beef cattle feedlots we visited near Jinan (east central China) the concern of foot and mouth disease was mentioned, but we didn’t really encounter any other incidents.

Meghan (right) and a friend at a beef feedlot

DB: What do you think the future of agriculture looks like for China?

MB: My first exposure to Chinese agriculture was passing a Chinaman herding sheep alongside the freeway just outside Beijing. This encounter exemplifies the dilemma faced by China. As the cities swell with population growth, the traditional agriculture methods will not be able to meet the demand. This strain will present American agriculture with a huge opportunity as China will more than likely rely on the U.S. for food imports.

DB: In the United States we have folks such as PETA and the Humane Society of the United States that promote veganism. Are their groups like this in China?

MB: When asking the manager of a Chinese feedlot about the reason for using a natural (no hormone, no implant) program, he responded that the Chinese people demanded it. He went on to explain that the Chinese people are becoming more concerned about animal welfare and handling practices. While this concern is being voiced, he made no mention of activist groups similar to PETA and HSUS. And from learning that many Chinese agriculture laborers are employed by the government in order to ensure that federal regulations are upheld, I would infer that activist groups are not tolerated in communist China.

DB: What would you like Kansas farmers and ranchers to know about Chinese agriculture?

MB: China is a force to be reckoned with in terms of economics and foreign policy. Their expanding middle class is following the model of the American middle class. They are buying more cars, eating more meat, and moving to the city. Like in America, the number of Chinese agriculture employees has decreased over the past 50 years. One difference remains completely overlooked, and that is that the Chinese agriculture production methods have not evolved (at least not enough) to sustain the growing population. The solution to this challenge will be revealed over time, but I predict it will present a huge opportunity for the American farmers and ranchers.  More than ever the world is going to look to Kansas farmers and ranchers for food.

DB: Animal agriculture is constantly being blamed by animal rights activists and environmentalist. What one thing would you recommend farmers do to improve this issue?

MB: China doesn’t have an issue with special interest groups because the communist government prohibits criticism. In America, activists have the freedom to voice their opinion, and so do you. As farmers and ranchers you have the ability, the right, and the freedom to tell your story to the public and voice your thoughts and views on government regulations. Sometimes it takes a challenge to reveal an opportunity. The challenge of animal rights activists and environmentalist groups has made the consuming public eager for your story. Take advantage of this opportunity.

Follow Meghan on Twitter: @MeghanBlythe 

Check out more of Meghan’s guest blog posts

Immerse yourself in social media

Re-posted from Corn Commentary
Today, the web has revolutionized the way that people communicate by providing people direct access to millions of other users without any sort of media filter.  The population of web users using social networking sites to obtain information about the world is growing exponentially. Facebook now boasts a population larger than the United States with 461 million users. Facebook users are not all teenagers either; nearly two-thirds of users are beyond college age, and the fastest-growing user group is women over the age of 50.

Anti-ag activist groups are taking advantage of this opportunity.  According to Cause Matters Corp. research:

  • HSUS: Nearly 30,000 followers on Twitter & growing with celebrity connection – 50x increase since January 2009
  • PETA: 614,000 Facebook fans  (quadrupled in 9 months) and 69,000 Twitter followers
  • Greenpeace: 43,000 followers on Twitter & 488,000 FB fans (tripled in 9 months)
  • Farm Sanctuary: 24,000 Facebook fans (tripled in 9 months) & 6,400 Twitter followers

With food taking center stage in the media, farmers need to harness the power of their respected and trusted position in society by taking either message directly to the people.  At Butterscotch.com, adults can watch a series of simple, well orchestrated tutorials that help them set up a Facebook page “for grownups.”  By following the simple steps in the videos, anyone can learn how to use this free, convenient social media tool.

Then, learn from the people who know social media best.  Make “friends” with Facebook pros like the National Corn Growers Association, Darrin Ihnen, Michele Payn-Knoper and Chuck Zimmerman.  Watching the messages on their “walls” will help you understand how to best get your story out.

98.5 percent of the population is not longer engaged in agriculture.  Growers may producer their food, but it is time to fight back and educate them on the issues that affect farming.  Take an active role in under ten minutes a day and try out Facebook today.

Original post on Corn Commentary

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