At the start of 2017, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced his goal for the new year was to visit and meet people in every state of the U.S. by the end of the year. Zuckerberg wrote, “After a tumultuous last year, my hope for this challenge is to get out and talk to more people about how they're living, working and thinking about the future.”
This is exciting news that someone as influential and connected as Zuckerberg will be stopping in rural areas across the U.S. What might we be able to teach him or share with him about our lives and what we do to feed, clothe and power the world? What a great opportunity to share our story and connect with his followers along the way!
This week, Zuckerberg started his quest to travel across the nation. His first stop was Texas, and the Lone Star State did not disappoint in showing him what rural America is all about.
While in Texas, Zuckerberg documented his Texas visit. First, he planted a garden with Oak Cliff community members in Dallas as a service project honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. Later, he visited the Dallas Police Department and thanked them for their service.
Next on the agenda was touring Zuckerberg’s new data center being built in Fort Worth, which will employ 1,000 people (43% of which are veterans).
His final stop was the Fort Worth Stock Show (FWSS), where he attended his first rodeo, petted a calf, received a Texas-sized cowboy hat and discussed breeds of goats, which he has a keen interest in.
Zuckerberg posted a gallery of photos from his time at the FWSS, and I loved reading through the comments from people around the world asking him about his time at the show and rodeo. Per usual, Zuckerberg is extremely interactive and answered many questions about the rodeo, the food and the people.
READ: Facebok CEO Mark Zuckerberg stops by the FWSS
Without a doubt, this was a positive thing for animal agriculture. We can’t always count on celebrity endorsements of small town USA, but when they do happen, it’s always a step in the right direction.
We must continue to work to change public sentiment about rural America to a more positive tune. I’m looking forward to following Zuckerberg’s travels across the U.S. and hope he’ll visit many rural towns and agricultural hubs along the way.
Thanks, Mark Zuckerberg, for taking the time to get to know America’s farmers and ranchers. We appreciate Facebook for its ability to keep us connected, and we are grateful you’re willing to share a small part of our story with your expansive network.
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Penton Agriculture.