03.21.2013Personal Tech

Farmers and Ranchers Get Social with AgChat

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Having grown up in Waterloo, Iowa, I know how close the agriculture community is. Working in the Great Plains region of Verizon Wireless, I also frequently travel through miles of cornfields with plenty of hogs and cattle along the way.

Social media is about connecting people, and connecting America’s producers and ranchers to tell their story directly to the end consumer is one of the main objectives of the AgChat Foundation according to its Executive Director Emily Zweber (@ezweber). The foundation works to teach social media skills to those who work with the land and animals so they can be a voice for agriculture.

I met nearly 100 AgChat members at a regional conference recently in Rochester, MN, and it was immediately obvious this is a tech savvy group. Many farmers and producers are accessing the web more through their mobile provider than other traditional providers because the Ag life means being mobile. The Ag community also uses wireless data networks as a way to communicate to stay on top of fast moving global commodity markets, as well as to share video with agronomists and veterinarians.

The organization gave away a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 to Sarah Betzold (@BetzoldSarah) for her Tweet about using a 4G LTE tablet to help in planting her first crop on her own farm. Good luck Sarah with #plant13!

To find out more about the AgChat, follow on Twitter or Facebook, or check out their YouTube channel. If you would like to get involved in a Twitter Chat, consider joining #AgChat and #FoodChat, taking place the third Tuesday of each month from 8-10pm ET.

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