When I was about six, I was charged with sweeping our calf barn and then tasked with other chores as I grew. I quickly learned that leveraging my strengths, creatively utilizing all the tools and working together would result in the most work getting done.  Our cows gave me all sorts of lessons in leveraging my fairly small frame against 2000 pounds, though they didn’t always necessarily appreciate my creative use of tools. In the fields, I discovered more stones would get picked in our fields when there was more than just my two hands. (more…)

One year ago I was contemplating the idea of agriculture folks joining  a conversation on Twitter, similar to what I had seen in action on “#journchat.” I discussed the idea with some friends in the business, tried to evaluate how such a conversation could connect people around the food plate and wondered if it really was something ag people would “do.”  ‘No risk, no reward’ is a personal philosophy, so on April 6, 2009, I announced we were going to try out a moderated streaming conversation known as “#AgChat” on Twitter on April 7, 2009. (more…)

MPK Note ~ Darin Grimm, a family farmer in northeast Kansas, grows corn, soybeans, wheat, sunflowers on 2000 acres with 1100 head of beef cattle.  Darin loves technology, particularly data related to improving the decision-making ability for agriculturists, having been involved with precision ag tools for a number of years. In the last year, his interest in technology has attracted him to analytics of social media.  He wrote this guest post in response to a question posted on #AgChat, a weekly streaming moderated conversation on Twitter.  I applaud him for taking the initiative! (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…)

Questioning why an organization should be a part of Twitter? Today I sent out a tweet (a 140 character-length message) to my community of 1000+ on Twitter.  Their responses were inspiring, so I wanted share these examples with you to help more people in agriculture understand the business value of Twitter.  And, most importantly, encourage you to jump on board if you’re not already a part of the Twitterverse! (more…)

Creating ideas is my business. I frequently engage in “idea infatuation” and have lengthy discussion about how these ideas can help people in agriculture.  And, I’m constantly humbled by how others build on the initial thought and proliferate an idea to be far-reaching and truly impactful. (more…)