Sunday, February 24, 2013

Earl McMunn Forum

I had the pleasure of attending the 2013 Earl McMunn symposium Wednesday night. Every year the a forum is held at the event that focuses on an issue in agriculture. This year we were discussing the farm bill.

I have some experience talking about the Farm Bill because of my involvement in other areas of leadership within the agriculture industry. But the speakers that were at the forum were presented a different view of the farm bill and how it applies to us as young ag professionals.

The typical conversation about farm bill took place discussing what it is, why it is important and why we haven't been able to get one passed through congress. Like always, we were encouraged to write our legislators and tell them our personal story.

I thought how can social media help me reach out to others in agriculture to get them to provide their personal story? This is an issue that is near and dear to my heart, and I think it is pretty obvious how social media can help us tell our story. Through blogging, twitter and facebook networks we re able to take the farm to the public, without having to leave.

As we become more integrated into the web2.0 era every day remember that our political leaders are doing the same thing. By connecting with them, we have an insight to what they do; just like they have when they look to my profile for information on agriculture. Tweeting with my senator allows me to directly inform them of what I need, short and sweet and to the point.

As an advocate for agriculture, I took it upon myself to set up an official hashtag for the forum and many in the audience tweeted their thoughts and impressions of the event following the hashtag #earlmcmunn

In the interest of public relations in agriculture I feel that we have a need to be technologically savvy and be trained in the best ways to promote the image of agriculture, our message and our goal to the public through social media. Twitter is a growing field that I think is the best way to communicate about events, news, questions, answers and knowledge of our industry and I will do my best to continue to promote it to others so that we can continue to find common ground with consumers and law makers alike.