Last week, more than 100 farmers, ranchers and other agriculturalists gathered in Nashville for the second annual Agvocacy 2.0 Conference. Some were seasoned bloggers and tweeps, while others were stepping into the online realm for the first time. All had one thing in common — they came to learn about using social media to advocate for the industry they are passionate about.
Just over a year ago I started out on a new journey into the unknown universe called “Social Media”. Through previous employment, I had some experience with traditional media and enjoyed it. However, the whole social media craze was unknown to me. I knew some people who spent a lot of time on a platform commonly refer to as “Crackbook,” but I wasn’t interested in that at all. The idea of sharing every thought and activity with others was out of my comfort zone and I really didn’t understand the purpose.
Lately, I’ve felt like I’ve had a burr under my saddle, in regards to agvocacy. I’ve been probably a little grouchier than warranted. Part of that is because I feel like our efforts to engage in agricultural dialogue, has plateaued. Part of it is because many people in the agriculture community operate on the same stubborn, free-spirited, willful mentality that has helped farmers and ranchers survive this long. Tenacity is an asset in some ways, a shortcoming in the other. I’m going to reach a level of candidness in this post that I generally reserve for good friends. I’m going to address the problems I see in the community’s approach to agvocacy, and I fully expect to receive some sort of challenge. I want this conversation to happen. It needs to happen.