AgChat Foundation To Help Farmers With Social Media

Chuck Zimmerman

That weekly AgChat Twitter conversation is nearing its one year anniversary and it has helped energize and inspire many farmers to engage online to agvocate for their industry using social networking tools like Twitter and Facebook. Still wondering if farmers are engaged online?

Today the AgChat Foundation has been announced via Twitter. This farmer led group “is designed to empower more farmers to leverage social media as a tool to tell agriculture’s story. The Foundation will educate and equip farmers and ranchers with the skill set needed to effectively engage on Twitter, Facebook, blogs, YouTube, Linkedin and other social media services. It will give them knowledge to unlock new tools to effectively tell their story. Research shows that social media is a growing opportunity for farmers to have a stronger voice in educating people about the business of growing food, fuel, feed and fiber.” I interviewed Mike Haley, one of our farmer board members, about the announcement and have posted it below.

The Foundation is farmer led but I have the honor to serve on the founding board as an Agribusiness Liaison. In addition to a board of directors we also have an advisory board which I’ve listed below. You can find this information and more on the AgChat Foundation website. Let me also say a big thank you to Michele Payn-Knoper for getting this all started a year ago!

Board of Directors:
Chris Chinn – Missouri, Farmer
Jeff Fowle – California, Farmer & Rancher
Mark Gale – Wisconsin, Agribusiness Liaison
Eliz Greene – Wisconsin, Consumer & Healthcare Liasion
Darin Grimm – Kansas, Farmer
Mike Haley – Ohio, Farmer
Shaun Haney – Alberta, Canada, Farmer
Michele Payn-Knoper, CSP – Indiana, Professional Speaker
Ray Prock, Jr. – California, Farmer
Chris Raines, Ph.D. – Pennsylvania, Extension
Tricia Braid Terry – Illinois, Checkoff Liaison
Chuck Zimmerman – Missouri, Agribusiness Liaison

Advisory Board:

James Andu, Vancouver, British Columbia – Your Local Foods
John Blue, Indiana – Truffle Media
Zach Hunnicut, Nebraska – Hunnicut Family Farms
Janice Person, Tennessee – Monsanto
Brent Pohlman, Nebraska – Midwest Labs
Craig Raysor, Tennessee – Gillon & Associates
Nate Taylor, Illinois – ZedX
Mace Thornton, Washington D.C. – American Farm Bureau Federation
Dr. Scott Vernon, California – California Polytechnical Institute San Luis Obispo
Tim Zweber – Zweber Family Farms

Let’s meet board member Mike Haley. Mike is a fifth generation grain and cattle farmer in northern Ohio. Mike believes not only in raising healthy crops and animals, but also working to ensure that future generations will be able to continue to do the same. This not only means that Mike must continuously work to ensure that his farm is operating in a sustainable way, but also that others understand what farmers are doing on a daily basis to ensure that they are acting in a socially acceptable manner. “Social media is a valuable tool that allows us to communicate with others across the country about our farming operation while we are working on daily tasks.”

In my interview with Mike we talk about farmer use of social media and what we hope to accomplish with the AgChat Foundation. I’ll be interviewing all our board members over the next several weeks.

You can listen to my interview with Mike here.

Farming, Social Networking