Friday, March 18, 2011

My role in social media

One of my roles in my job is coordinating the social media to help promote agriculture. And I love it.

I know a lot of people don't quite understand it, or they think, "Why should I tweet what I'm doing all the time?", or "Who cares what I eat for dinner?", or "Nobody wants to read what my day was like". Well probably for most people -they don't. However, for farmers and ranchers, it's different.

Consumers want to know where their food comes from, how their animals are being taken care of, and generally, are just curious about life on the farm! Also, farmers and ranchers are trusted by consumers - so they want to hear it from them. So yes, people don't want to know about me sitting at my desk all day or I'm flying to now - but if I can help the farmers/ranchers tell their story by passing on what they are saying, or giving them the resources to tell their story, then it is worth it.

Using social media in agricultue is just one form of promoting - but mostly it's a form of a continual conversation. Like last year when I had a conversation with an atheist vegan. I knew I wasn't going to change his mind on anything, but at least the conversation was open for others to join in, read or click on the links. Hopefully I was able to reach someone that day with my positive messages.

And my role in it is kind of a beast that's grown it's own legs! Now here is the best part:

Last week, I received a phone call from Washington. Yes, like D.C., like from the government, like from a little department called the USDA. They were wanting my advice on using social media to promote agriculture. Whoa, I was totally excited! Not only did I help them out by sharing my thoughts and ideas, they shared some really great info for me to utilize as well.

I've also heard from some people in the field that what I'm tweeting and posting on facebook is where they get their first information for ag updates. A pretty nice little compliment to know what I'm doing is helping someone. And that is the biggest reason I'm telling this little story about social media - helping others, promoting agriculture and educating about issues that affect us is what it's all about.

I should have known when I was a 4th grader and couldn't decide between being a writer or a teacher when I grew up - I guess I'm kind of both now.

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