Embedding Tweets

I’m just experimenting with Twitter’s embedded tweets. Haven’t done one before. Here’s a tweet I just did of the USFRA Faces of Farming winners announcement. Looks good. I’ll be keeping my eye out for tweets to share here from time to time now!

If you’re blogging then think about using embedded tweets to share information you find via Twitter.

Become a Master of Social Media at UF

UF Master of Social MediaThink you’re a master of social media? If not, you can become one at the University of Florida, College of Journalism & Communications, my alma mater.

I wonder if they’d like a guest lecturer? Think I’ll pursue that idea.

The University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications is pleased to announce the launch of our online Master of Arts in Mass Communication with a specialization in Social Media. As a UF graduate, we thought you’d be especially interested in this first-of-its-kind program and the ability to continue your education as a Gator no matter where you reside.

This innovative program provides a specialized focus in social media for the professional who is seeking knowledge in the advanced uses, communication techniques, business opportunities, and trends from the growing realm of social media. As a student, you will learn to adapt, craft, and deliver customized social media content and determine its effectiveness through a diverse range of social media metrics and data.

Designed for working professionals, this degree provides a flexible route to acquiring new skills and implementing them in your current career through online course delivery.

We invite you to learn more about this unique opportunity.

Social Media Saves the Holidays

Happy Holidays from HootsuiteHappy Holidays from Hootsuite.

From myself and all of the Owls here at HootSuite, we sincerely wish you a festive holiday season, and all the best for 2013!


Ryan Holmes

You may want to watch this video a couple times. The action is fast. But that’s part of the point it is making too.

Many of you are pretty social media savvy but many are not quite there yet. This video was promoted by direct mail and caught my eye. I use Hootsuite. Just not all the time. The video makes me want to use it more.

Social Media – Listen. Talk. Ask.

To help wrap up Alltech’s Global 500 last week Billy Frey, Senior Vice President of the Alltech Ag Network, and David Butler, Alltech’s Web Marketing Manager, discussed the future of communication.

What does the future hold in terms of communication? Well, if you ask these guys the answer is social media. People don’t turn to magazines, newspapers or even television anymore for information. They go online.

What does this mean for the agriculture industry? We simply need to use this tool to tell our story. Share what your company is doing with a picture or video. Or share your farming story through a blog. Make your information accessible with the click of a button.

Billy and David said to first listen to the conversation. Then talk and join in with the dialogue. And finally ask questions and create engagement. Social media is free, it doesn’t cost any money to start a conversation.

Find out what Alltech is doing online by following them on Facebook and Twitter. If you missed this years Global 500 check out #global500 on Twitter to follow what those live tweeting had to say. Also check out Alltech’s blog and stay up-to-date with what the company is doing.

Listen to Billy and David’s complete presentation here: Billy Frey & David Butler - Global 500

Check out all the photos from this years Global 500 here: 2012 Global 500 Photo Album

GROWMARK Cookbook Helps Feed the World

GROWMARK cooked up a great way to help farmers feed the world this year by compiling a cookbook filled with recipes contributed by GROWMARK employees and selling it to raise money for the an important charity.

“We wanted to do something special this year to promote the International Year of Cooperatives and GROWMARK’s 85th anniversary,” said Karen Jones, GROWMARK’s Publications and News Specialist, who explained that they came up with the idea for the cookbook as a way to allow everyone in the system to participate. “We decided it would be really neat if we could sponsor a charity with the proceeds from the cookbook and we decided on Farmers Feeding the World.

There are over 1100 recipes in the cookbook, which was sold for $20 each. “We are going to be making a donation of $1500 to Farmers Feeding the World in the next few weeks,” Karen said. “The organizations that Farmers Feeding the World helps out are organizations that we really believe it.”

Karen says there are no plans at the moment to do a second printing of the sold out cookbook, but the recipes are being made available through social media. “On our FS Pintrest boards, we do have a recipe board and we are posting recipes on there occasionally, so even if you didn’t get a chance to buy a book you can still get a few of the best recipes that way,” she said. To find those recipes, go to Pinterest.com/FSservices.

Listen to my interview with Karen here: GROWMARK's Karen Jones

GROWMARK Iowa Media Tour Photos

Social Media Use in Czech Republic

I thought this information from ACDC (Agricultural Communications Documentation Center) was interesting and wanted to share. Social media usage in the Czech Republic (pdf). Would you have thought this to be the case? Looks like companies are slow to adopt but their customers are not. This is from two years ago so I would assume there has been more of a move toward using social media now.

During 2010, researchers at the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague carried out the first survey of social networks in the agrarian sector (companies, cooperatives, and farmers) of the Republic. A research paper we have added to the ACDC collection revealed findings such as these:

About 95 percent had internet connections at their disposal.
Respondents were active on social networks, with Facebook by far the most used.
Company presentation is only used to a relatively small extent. Social media were especially used for personal communications, gathering information, and for company communications.

Another interesting nugget from the study:

Advertisement, newspapers and leaflets are not so trustworthy or in other words so popular with the new generation and modern users.

FFA Growing Young Agvocates

Young agvocates will get some social media training at the 2012 FFA Convention. I’ll be some of them could teach the teachers! What do you think?

FFA members will learn how to apply their technology skills to advocate for agriculture by hosting at social media training during the 85th National FFA Convention and Expo on Monday, Oct. 22.

Two two-hour sessions will teach participants how social media play a role in leadership on a global, national, state and local level. Students will learn more about the need for advocates in agriculture and how they can authentically tell their story using social media.

“Last year’s inaugural social media training resulted in FFA leaders engaging in relevant, meaningful conversations about agriculture and food,” said Shane Jacques, education specialist with the National FFA Organization. “This year’s sessions will focus on developing new leaders who are confident to communicate on behalf of the industry they love.” Continue reading

What does a SoyCow do?

See the power of soy through a light-hearted, short YouTube video “What Does a SoyCow Do? She Can’t Moo.” Inspired by a Dr. Seuss story, the upbeat video showcases how the World Soy Foundation helps children grow, learn, play and become leaders in their communities. Stainless steel processors, called SoyCows, are one of the multiple tools that the World Soy Foundation uses to reduce malnutrition through the power of soy.

See this video and support the World Soy Foundation.

Find PrecisionPays on Facebook!

Precision Pays is now on Facebook, delivering news and special event coverage on the topic of precision agriculture in all its forms.

In fields across the country, more growers are making precision farming a way of life, no matter how large or small their operation, no matter what the crop. With increased input costs and the pressure to do more with less, growers are continually looking for ways to improve farming efficiencies, production and profitability. Precisionpays.com was created with this in mind.

Now on Facebook, you can find timely precision farming information, links to other resources and coverage from industry trade shows. In addition, you’ll find interviews with technology experts and leading growers who have incorporated precision technology into their operations.

Visit us on Facebook to find out how “Precision Pays” for your farm.

Sightings Contest Launches FS InVISION Seed Corn

Shawn Kinkade of Piper City, Ill., was selected as the winner of a social media contest in which people reported sightings of the new FS InVISION™ logo. Kinkade’s photograph showed the logo prominently displayed on a fertilizer storage tank at the Heritage FS facility near Herscher, Ill.

The contest was launched to raise awareness of the newly re-branded FS seed corn line as FS InVISION by placing the logo in a variety of locations. Entries were received from throughout the Midwest. To celebrate the re-branding and support the next generation of local Midwest growers, the FS System also made monetary donations to the Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin state FFA associations for each sighting uploaded to the FS System on Facebook where visitors were encouraged to vote for their favorite photo. Visitors to the GROWMARK/FS exhibit at the 2012 Farm Progress Show were also able to vote and the winner was determined on August 30.

As we learned from FS Seed reps at Farm Progress Show, a focus on local development, local results, and local recommendations means that there is an FS InVISION hybrid to work in any farm operation. A key component of a successful crop is seed selection, and FS InVISION offers innovative technologies and cutting-edge genetics to ensure FS crop specialists can offer the right hybrid for any field and growing conditions. FS InVISION is powered by FS Green Plan Solutions.

Farm Roads to Urban Intersections

The Ag Institute of Florida is going social on their next luncheon workshop. It’s called “Farm Roads to Urban Intersections, a workshop exploring social media avenues from planning your trip to “are we there yet?” I know you’ll enjoy seeing Ryan speak, a great agvocate!

Nationally recognized writer Ryan Goodman, known for his daily blog “Agriculture Proud,” will be the keynote speaker for the luncheon. Goodman, a young cattle rancher from Arkansas, will share his passion for agricultural advocacy and insights on blogging to bridge the gap between farmers and urban customers.

“It’s not a matter of ‘if’ a company or organization is going to use social media as part of its public relations and marketing – it’s a matter of ‘how.’ This workshop brings together experts who can help with strategy and messaging to make sure you’re getting the results you want from your social media efforts,” said Lisa Lochridge, president of the Ag Institute and director of public affairs for the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association.

This event includes the Agriculture Institute of Florida’s 2012 Annual Meeting and lunch. Registration is required.

Social Media Beyond the Choir

AgNerds from across North American came together in Kansas City, MO to attend the 2012 Agvocacy 2.0 Training. “Beyond the Choir” was a common theme throughout the week as we tweaked how to use social media in telling our story of agriculture to those not quite as familiar with it. Some came as social media gurus and others with a lot to learn. Some came from a life-time of farming and others a simple passion for agriculture.

Briåna Belko grew up a city girl in California, but her roots went back to the family farm. Now she works on her families calf ranch and uses social media to share her story, relating to those wearing heels and those in boots.

“It started when I went to college in LA. I had a conversation with a classmate about milk and he honestly thought milk came from the grocery store. I could tell how he said it that he had no idea it came from a cow. That totally through me off because I was born and raised in the city, but I had dairy farms all around me. I knew where my milk came from. So, going into this job I went in with a passion. Knowing there are a lot of people who don’t have the advantage of knowing where there food comes from. It has been a huge learning curve for me. When farmers are talking about different things on the farm I don’t know what they are talking about. I know I represent a larger majority of people who have even less of a clue as to what goes on on farms.”

You can follow Briåna on Twitter @HeelsToBoots and don’t forget to check out her blog, From Heels to Boots.

Listen to my complete interview with the Briåna here: Interview with Briåna Belko

Here’s where our photos can be found. 2012 Agvocacy 2.0 Conference Photo Album

I’m Farming and I Grow It

The Agvocacy 2.0 Training would not of have been complete without a surprise performance from the Peterson Farm Boys. Their YouTube video, “I’m Farming and I Grow It” went vial this summer and has almost reached 7 million views. Greg and Nathan Peterson not only performed but took time out of their busy schedule to talk with us about why they made the music video parody and why they share their passion for agriculture.

After I waited in line for fans to take the opportunity for some photo opts, I got to talk with the boys. You can find my complete interview below.

The Peterson Farm Boys YouTube Channel is stock full of videos educating viewers about the world of agriculture. Greg shared the simple equipment he uses to shoot and edit the videos. You don’t have to be a professional. We can all share our story.

Both Greg and Nathan will be at K-State this fall while their younger brother Kendal finishes up high school. All three brothers still work on the farm and even if their future careers take them off the farm, they won’t go too far from their roots of faith, family & agriculture.

You can order your very own I’m Farming and I Grow It t-shirt. Wear it proudly and see how many conversations you can strike up about agriculture anywhere you go.

Listen to my interview with the Peterson’s here: Interview with The Peterson Farm Boys

Here’s where our photos can be found. 2012 Agvocacy 2.0 Conference Photo Album

Third Annual Agvocacy 2.0 Conference

ZimmCast 363Three years of Agvocacy 2.0 training and counting. That’s what the AgChat Foundation just accomplished with the conclusion of their third annual event in Kansas City.

I was there to conduct a presentation on story telling and media creation with the Peterson Farm Brothers. We had a great session in which I just had to bask in the shadow of their YouTube greatness! :)

The Chair for the training committee that put this great event together is Kathy Swift, Cow Art and More, in the middle of the picture with the committee. They were glad the conference finally came to an end. Kathy is a full time large animal vet in Gainesville, FL too. She says that with two years of learning how to put on this type of conference, their goal was to put on the best conference ever. I think they did it. The goal was to provide attendees with basic social media training along with advanced training. A large part of the conference was focused on communicating “outside the choir.”

Listen to this week’s ZimmCast here: Third Annual Agvocacy 2.0 Conference

Thanks to our ZimmCast sponsors, GROWMARK, locally owned, globally strong and Monsanto, Roundup Ready Plus, for their support.

The ZimmCast is the official weekly podcast of AgWired. Subscribe so you can listen when and where you want. Just go to our Subscribe page.

Be Ready for “Farm it Maybe” to Go Viral

Watch out “Farming and I Grow it” guys – there’s a new kid on video and he just “maybe” the next YouTube sensation for agriculture. L’il Fred performs “Farm It Maybe” a parody of “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen inspired by the now famous Kansas brothers’ video. Be sure to check out the lyrics – here’s a sample:

Woke up at quarter to 6
See what the weather predicts
Slip on my really cool kicks
Time to go to work

Made my way to the barn
On my family owned farm
Got some hay in each arm
Gotta get to work

Go Bold With Butter

Are you bold enough to go with butter? “Go Bold With Butter” is a social media campaign of the American Butter Institute. Here’s how it’s doing. Note the results correlation between increased content on their blog and “fostering increased butter usage.” How about that blogging thing!

ABI’s social media campaign “Go Bold With Butter” was launched on March 19th, just before the Easter holiday. Overall the campaign is continuing to drive momentum and results so far shows that the campaign, which focuses on maintaining levels of positive consumer awareness of butter and fostering increased butter usage, is continuing to improve as content on the blog continues to build. Repeat visitors have increased, reflecting that the site is considered a good resource for recipes and information about butter.

“We are pleased with the results so far with this new emphasis on communicating the benefits of butter in home cooking recipes through social media,” said Mark Korsmeyer, President of ABI. We’re engaging more consumers with this effort and I expect it will help build the category in both the short and long term.”

Blog traffic continues to increase rapidly since the launch of the campaign, outperforming initial goals delivering over 98,000 visits in the month of June. Engagement metrics have continued to improve as content on the blog continues to build. This includes repeat visitors, and reflects that the site is considered a good resource for recipes and information about butter. The campaign’s Facebook page has 33,092 likes, which in an increase of 76% over May numbers. Facebook content has the potential to reach 11.3 million people. 95% of the Facebook page likes are in the key 25‐54 age target demographic.
Continue reading

World Dairy Expo Facebook Fan Giveaway

One lucky fan will win the ultimate Madison experience with the World Dairy Expo 10K Ultimate Fan Giveaway. Dairy enthusiasts are invited to become fans of Expo on Facebook. Fans of Expo’s Facebook page are privy to the latest information, giveaways, including free tickets and official Expo gear, plus it’s an excellent opportunity to connect with other dairy producers and professionals from around the globe. The Expo Facebook page currently has fans from 64 different countries.

When the Expo fan page reaches 10,000 “Likes” one person will win an amazing package including a three night stay at The Madison Concourse & Governor’s Club during Expo. All Facebook fans over the age of 21 will be eligible to win. The prize package includes:
• Three night stay at The Madison Concourse & Governor’s Club – A King room in the exclusive Governor’s Club
• $100 shopping spree to the Purple Cow Gift Shop at World Dairy Expo
• $100 to Food Fight Restaurants – A collection of over 17 restaurants in the Madison
• $50 Gift Certificate for Downtown Madison area retailers
• Two World Dairy Expo Season Passes
• Madison Gift Basket from the Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau
• Lunch daily at World Dairy Expo – Including the Expo Bistro, Badger Dairy Club Cheese Stand, GEA Ice Cream Stand and more!
• Preferred seating for the Supreme Ceremony on Saturday

Entry into this giveaway will be revealed when the page reaches 10,000 fans. The winner will be responsible for airfare and travel.

You Twive & AgChat Foundation Received

Thank you to everyone who helped out the AgChat Foundation during yesterday’s Twive and Receive event. We raised $6,830 and placed 12th out of the hundreds of charities that participated. I guess I should have titled this “You Twave & AgChat Foundation Received?” We had 78 Twivers for an average donation of $88.

In case you couldn’t help out now keep the AgChat Foundation in mind for the future. You can still make a donation! Want a reason to donate? Check out this video of farmer and AgChat Foundation board member Tim Zweber.

After completing your donation the fearless leader of the board, Darin Grimm, Kansas farmer, provided a personal thank you which I’m sharing here.

Split Vote on Corn Sugar vs. HFCS

Our latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “Do you prefer corn sugar to high fructose corn syrup?” In what is a first for our poll, the response was split evenly! See the chart below.

Recently the FDA denied a request from the Corn Refiners Association to allow food labels to use the term corn sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. Nutritionally, there is no difference in regular table sugar and HFCS so I don’t see why FDA ruled like they did. Their reasoning had to do with their definition of sugar as a crystalline solid. This is basically a public relations war over words since the “problem” with either cane or corn sugar is how much someone consumes. Nothing wrong with cane sugar or corn sugar, regardless what you call it, in my opinion. I like them both. Apparently consumers like HFCS better according to this story. What do you think?

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “Does your business have an interest in Pinterest?” This online pinboard is now being used by political campaigns to target key demographics. Even President Obama’s wife is using it! Seems like there might be some good reason for agribusinesses, farm and food groups to start pinning away. What do you think?

ZimmPoll is sponsored by Rhea+Kaiser, a full-service advertising/public relations agency.