It seems the major theme at the 2010 Cattle Industry Annual Convention and Trade Show in San Antonio, TX is the growing importance for the beef cattle industry to embrace online social media tools to share the agriculture story with consumers. Finally, agriculture is recognizing that the discussion on the future of agriculture is being told by folks who want to eliminate it, and it's time we start balancing out the scales and leading the discussion ourselves.
Yet, I would venture to guess that the idea of Twitter, Facebook, blogs and YouTube is generally an overwhelming concept for many producers used to hearing the news from traditional outlets; however, there is a growing wave of cattlemen taking advantage of these online tools to communicate stories about food producers. One of the groups taking the bull by the horns in online agriculture advocacy is the National Beef Ambassadors, an excited group of young people ready to be champions for the cause on behalf of America’s farmers and ranchers.
I had the opportunity to work with the ambassadors yesterday morning to equip them with the skills they need to be effective spokespersons for all beef producers online. (Pictured LR: Amanda Nolz, Ellen Hoffschneider, Jackson Alexander, Malorie Bankhead, Mandy-Jo Laurent and Rebecca Vraspir) After the session, they are excited and ready to spread the positive news about beef and cattle production. You can follow their blog, check out their Twitter accounts and become a fan of the program on Facebook. If any of these sites are overwhelming to you, I thought today would be a great opportunity to open the floor. What questions do you have about online social media tools? What advice can you offer to others in getting online and sharing our story?