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…)

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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…)

MPK Live (unedited)

Today I finally took my spoken word online through video blogging, YouTube, etc.  You wouldn’t think it would take a professional speaker so long to jump into ‘casual videos’, particularly when I ask farmers to do so.  It was a great lesson in overcoming my perfectionist tendencies – and also how simple social media makes video sharing. You can do the same with your webcam, video camera, flip camera or even digital camera. Simple shoot, save, upload and share. (more…)

One of the greatest rewards of my work is seeing people in agriculture effectively tell their story.  This week’s posting features some excellent examples of ways agriculturists can make a difference – and need to. (more…)

Connecting_People

Harvest is rapidly approaching, a season filled with measurements of a farmer’s success. Agriculture needs to look at yields in areas beyond the combines and choppers. One of those needing yield improvement is consumer understanding of agriculture. I’d encourage you to look at the millions of opportunities in social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Ning, et al) as a critical tool in improving perception measurements about the agrifood business. Why? (more…)

FFA Alumna Michele Payn-Knoper Reflects

FFA Alumna Michele Payn-Knoper Reflects

If you wore blue and gold corduroy, you likely understand intense feelings that have transcended two decades.  March 1989 is a month I remember clearly, even if 20 years have gone by in a blink of an eye.  The Municipal Auditorium at Michigan State University had a distinct fervor of excitement, anticipation and apprehension.  You see, it was the place where our State FFA Officer team led the Michigan FFA Convention.  I recall the thrill of dashing up the aisles during opening ceremonies, rocking the house with a couple of thousand screaming FFA members and working with a group of people who still hold a special place in my heart today. (more…)