The National Agriculture Week celebration continues with great events across communities, large and small, in real life and the virtual world. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and even Linkedin have been filled with updates from people working to increase awareness of American agriculture. The idea extravaganza at the Cause Matters Corp. fan page has brought people from across the country to the party; these are a few of my favorites s far (we’re partying til Saturday at midnight).
- “Cell phones and autosteer leverage a farmers time!” The best quote of the week came from a farmer saying that his work on a ‘bread for a year’ giveaway to build awareness of wheat and grain production was gaining traction.
- Most creative promotion goes to milk pongs. Mizzou’s Sigma Alpha sorority and Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity are taking this milk pong to the local Relay for Life on Saturday. It will be a game used to distribute ag and food facts, says Mizzou senior Whitney. Not sure what’s in the water down there in Missouri, but these students also won a ag advocacy video contest last fall. Keep up the good work !
- Perseverance is an often needed skill in both farming and building a social media presence. Kristin from Westfield Insurance has worked diligently to remind everyone about their photo contest. It looks pretty cool – if I ever had time to shoot some pictures (which I love to do), I’d enter one.
- Most frequent contributor goes to Sarah from Animal Ag Alliance. She’s posted links to local community events, provided great resources and even inquired about ‘pamphleting’ D.C.
- The most inspiring posts goes to the people who produce our food. Farmers have reported that they spent a day with politicians, worked in the classroom (and even gave a dreaded media interview – LOL), their family plans to take cow-calf pairs to the school and even video taping while sitting in the bunk without any make-up on.
- Anyone who has grown up or spent significant amounts of time on a farm can immediately relate to the question posed by Oklahoma State senior Ryan. “What are your favorite memories of being part of a family farm and agriculture?” He gets the nod for initiating the best discussion – it was heartwarming to see the stories shared in response to his questions.
- Creative promotions that hit hot buttons are the name of the game in educating a society on information overload. Val in Iowa gets that award, reporting “Franklin County Farm Bureau is celebrating National Ag Week by giving a quarter off each gallon of ethanol for two hours in Hampton, Iowa.” Great way to leverage a hot button.
- Fastline Publications gets the big picture. Since my days working for the National FFA Foundation, I’ve seen them committed to the future of agriculture. They’ve taken that same commitment to helping educate farmers about the web. They seem to get that it’s not about selling a product, but being a resource in a community.
- Media creation award goes to Farm Credit Services for their challenge to agriculturists to create videos around the “I am agriculture.” The modest mindset of farmers means that most of us would rather go hide in the barn or in a tractor – but videos are SO important to SHOWING the faces of agriculture.
There are many more ideas I could highlight – and more to come with the idea extravaganza going through Saturday. Please share your experiences or ask questions – after all, National Ag Week is really about connecting the farm gate and consumer plate. You can use these Ag Day Food Fun Facts, which Chuck Zimmerman posted at the party. If you’re not on Facebook, you can even leave your advocacy stories in the comments here. Surely educating people about your life passion doesn’t have to be difficult – it starts with a single conversation.