November 2009


As Americans sit down to the gluttonous feast known as Thanksgiving, I hope that you’ll reflect on your plate before it’s loaded with food.  Look closely and you may even see reflections of the faces behind your food.  The people engaged in the 1.5% of the U.S. population raising food deserve gratitude as we celebrate the heritage of our country. While most Americans have lost sight of our agrarian roots, I believe it’s only fitting to say thank you to each person who grows enough to feed 155 people. (more…)

A Brazilian popstar, Hollywood celebrities and an agricultural speaker are side-by-side in the race for an internationally-recognized social media award. Mashable, The Social Media Guide, announced the nominees for the 2009 Open Web Awards today and Certified Speaking Professional Michele Payn-Knoper was one of the top five nominees for Twitter User of the Year. There are over two million “tweets” sent daily on the micro-blogging site Twitter and celebrities attract the largest number of followers, so agriculture’s representation on this list is an exciting opportunity for the agrifood business. Payn-Knoper was nominated by members of an agricultural community, “#AgChat”, which Payn-Knoper founded in April. (more…)

One of the greatest personal advantages to social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube is the ability to really connect with people, rather than just see them when I’m speaking. Relationships, built through shared experiences, have been growing through hundreds of conversations online. (more…)

Planting New LifeHas “green” thinking gone too far?  Mike Rowe, speaking at the recent National FFA Convention, mentioned that the world may be wrong about making things green in a recent Agrinews article about the Dirty Jobs host.  “Green maybe wasn’t the best color.  Seems to me that brown would be better suited. Think about it, everything that’s green starts with something that’s brown, usually dirt.  And if you were to scrape the dirt off of the farmers from coast to coast, you’ll find the greenest people on Earth.  Not because they’re trying to save the world, but because sustainability is the best way for them to do their job.” (more…)

It’s rare I’ll give a shout out to Buckeyes, given my green and white Spartan blood. However, Election Day 2009 calls for a rallying cry for every Ohio resident who cares about agriculture, the rural economy, freedom of business choice, scienced-based information or maintaining low food prices.  My thoughts – live and unedited – about why Issue 2 deserves your YES vote. (more…)