Just had an excellent session with three engaging, interesting, and social media motivated “Mommy Bloggers” here at Agvocacy 2.0 in Nashville, TN.
This was a great session. We as producers (both organic and tradition, pick your own, and farmers marketing to larger wholesalers) we given roughly an hour to talk and ask questions of the three ladies above. One who has turned her social media blogging experiment started when her baby was napping 6 years ago into a job utilizing public speaking and social media and another who is still learning about healthy foods and how to share this information and information about her faith to others, and a third who is dealing with life threatening milk, egg, and peanut allergies in her youngest child.
These women were awesome and really interested in what we as producers are doing. They let us into their issues and concerns and by doing so are helping to shape a new outlook on interactions with other “Mommy Bloggers” and society in general. The issue that these three women face in their daily lives mimics the same issues faced by many of us in agriculture today as well. We all want good food from healthy sources – regardless of our individual food issues, whether this means a vegan lifestyle choice or severe life threatening allergens in food. We all want to be able to have a back and forth educational conversational discourse about these common issues. They want farmers to be the source for information, they want to see our farms, and they want our information in a positive manner.
The overall outlook that I am getting both from this time with the “mommy Bloggers” and with the other social media attendees here at Agvocacy 2.0 is that it is time for agriculture to stop the war with persons with a far right outlook on agriculture and time to move to a progressive stance about the positive things modern agriculture is doing.
The talk from Jennifer Dahm from the United States Farmers and Ranchers Alliance was also inspiring this AM. Her whole talk was on being positive and alleviating the FEARs and CONCERNS behind the day to day work in modern farming and to relate the reasons moderns famers may need to implement these practices.
She spoke of using less industry approved wording in our message, because the majority of American Farms are still family owned and factory farming seems to be an emotional buzz word. The need for open and honest conversations are being emphasized. Reaching out to people on social media is as you might expect, is being highly emphasized. As is the need to stop engaging agricultures detractors in negative debates. The need to tell our story in our own words is being emphasized.
Overall, this has been a motivational meeting and I highly encourage anyone with an interest in agriculture and social media to attend future sessions.
Mike Haley (@farmerhaley on twitter) just presented an awesome talk with a letter framed to agriculturist from the average America Consumer… we need to look at these thoughts and start telling the awesome story of modern agriculture to people, Mom’s, Bloggers, and consumers who are rally interested in what modern agriculture is providing for them.
The time has come to stop spewing facts at the American Public. They don’t need to be educated – that can make them feel smaller and afraid to ask the next time they have a concern, when what we want to have is a conversation on foods, production agriculture, and pubic concerns about agriculture with us and not others who may have very different opinions then we do as a community.
Twitter, Blogging, and Facebook represent excellent ways for us to tell our stories in our own words.
Back to listening and learning now from farmers about social media… learning about #foodthanks
I have really decided that taking today to come here and work on my agriculture concerns is definatly worth missing two days in the office. Hope my patients can forgive me, but food and agriculture are as much a part of my personality now as medicine has always been.