Telling your story can happen through words, pictures, videos or text!

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). (more…)

There’s a collective sigh of relief in my office! It appears a party can be thrown on Facebook – and be a cool way of connecting people. I don’t know about you, but I’m always a little worried before a party. The same worries held true before I announced the National Agriculture Week Party on the Cause Matters Corp. Facebook fan page. What if no one showed up…or it was boring…or we ran out of ideas or…(yes, I worry too much). Well,  I’m pleased to report the party seems to hopping.  Check out just a few of the great ideas shared by people across the country… (more…)

Sing a little song about your daily work, even when it smells . Make your message fun. Upload to YouTube from your smart phone. Share it with the world.  A family dairy farmer down in Alabama has developed quite a following for his work and his cows doing just that.  Will Gilmer, also known as “The Singing Dairyman”, creates “Moo Tube Minutes” to educate people how their milk is produced and give a voice to dairy farmers. (more…)

In the past 8 years of speaking, I have stood on a ‘bully pulpit’ and likely asked more than 100,000 people to stand up and speak out for agriculture. In order for this to happen, I encouraged farm folks to overcome their natural modesty. After all, it’s impossible to put a face on the plate if there aren’t any faces willing to step forward or voices to go with them. (more…)

Ever had a cow lick your video camera? Wonder why a farmer tweets? Want to know how the agricultural community is REALLY using tools such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs?  Take a look at any of these quick videos on the Cause Matters Corp. Facebook Fan page – I can’t say it any better than these farmers and agribusiness folks do. (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…)

Have you ever thought about thinking? If you’re in North America, you’re likely wondering why I ask, but this isn’t a trick question. Whenever I work in developing countries, I am reminded about the privilege of free thinking – and that it’s not available in every country.  It’s nearly impossible to understand this until you experience mindsets that have been shaped in controlling environments. (more…)

TwitterHave you tweeted your tweeps in your Twub or checked out your twinfluence? If this leaves you scratching your head, it’s time to put a new tool in your toolbox.  After all, Twitter has been the media darling of 2009 and now agricultural media outlets are regularly featuring the tool, so why not understand the basics? Moreover, if you understand the landscape (and the crazy vernacular), you can search and find a plethora of useful information Twitter – even if you don’t have a profile. (more…)

The University of Wisconsin – Madison employed author and journalist Michael Pollan to speak about “In Defense of Food”  last week, as a follow-up to the  book’s highly controversial selection as the first literature on the “Go Big Read” university-wide reading list. According to Feedstuffs, Pollan received $25,000 for his appearance. Does this figure seem more than a little ironic when dairy farmers are losing roughly 50 cents for each gallon of milk they produce? (more…)

Thousands have lost their jobs to water in California

Thousands have lost their jobs to water in an area known as the U.S. breadbasket

Last week agriculture saw a rare opportunity; a major farm issue was showcased during prime time, complete with celebrities sharing food and farm facts. I asked Barbara Borges Martin, one of the thousands of farms impacted by California’s environmental over-regulations, to share her experience at the live filming of the Hannity on Fox show on September 17. This is important regardless of your state or residency; these types of environmental over-regulations may be precedent setting, people standing in food lines were receiving carrots from China and nearly 12% of U.S. food production comes from the San Joaquin Valley. (more…)