January 28, 2010

Farmers discover power of social media

Social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, are helping to define a new direction for agriculture that puts farmers in direct contact with consumers.
That's the opening line from a Grand Island Independent story on farmers and social media. Read it here.

The article is from a presentation on Wednesday at the Nebraska Agricultural Technologies Association Conference and Trade Show. One of the presentations Wednesday was on social media and agriculture, hosted by Dennis Kahl, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension educator. You can find him on Twitter using the handle @exteneducate.

As the article noted, a big advantage of farmers using social media is it allows them to reach out to consumers to tell their story. It also allows farmers to communicate with other farmers, suppliers and more.

Here are a few more highlights - but the article is a good read. It was written by Robert Pore, who is also on Twitter (@robertpore):

One of the audiences farmers are directing that storytelling to is the consumers, Kahl said. By communicating directly with consumers through social media sites, he said, they can answer questions posed by consumers on such topics as food production and animal husbandry.


Cheryl Stubbendieck (@NEFarmBureau), vice president/public relations and Web site administrator for Nebraska Farm Bureau, said with farmers connecting one-to-one with consumers through social media, “... consumers can get their questions answered and get them answered by people they respect.”

“It is another avenue, and an effective one, to correct misinformation and supply good information to the public,” Stubbendieck said.

Through social media, she said, farmers can build better relationships and trust with consumers.

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