How can a farmer get a chance to write for CNN?

by Janice Person, Advisory Board

Recently a lot of us turned on our social media channels one day to find two very familiar names tied together, but the connection of the two probably wasn’t expected. We were excited to see that CNN’s food blog ‘eatocracy’ included a familiar name from the AgChat community writing a guest post!

Yes, our friend the person behind the AgProud blog and Facebook page, Twitter’s @AR_ranchhand, Ryan Goodman wrote a piece for CNN’s food blog “No Bull – what a cattle farmers wants customers to know”! I bet some folks had to wonder how it happened and are wondering if that sort of thing can happen again. When someone asked Ryan if he’d write something up, he thought it may look like he’s bragging and passed. Well I will gladly brag on him with hopes it helps others get that kind of visibility.

What Makes Ryan So Special

Ryan created this opportunity by being himself and being available on a regular basis. Opportunities don’t just happen out of the blue. So if you want to dissect the steps involved, here’s what I see makes Ryan so special:

  • Puts himself out there in conversations and groups — A couple of weeks ago, eatocracy had a post about gestation crates, and I asked some farm friends what they thought of the piece since I am not a livestock person. The discussion about the post helped me think through various ideas from others and in the process, Ryan thought about things, left honest comments and contributed his experience with a really balanced objective.
  • Engaging with people whether or not opportunity knocks – when Ryan participates in a conversation, he does it from a place of honesty never just trying to get the big light to shine. He was making a difference before he caught CNN’s eye and he will continue to do just that.
  • Built an incredible content base – Ryan actively engages with people throughout the week and has been doing that for years. He has multiple venues online and in real life. I have to say if people reading the original post clicked on Ryan’s name, he had linked it back to his website Doing that, a blog manager or reporter would see an established ability to have conversations on topics about food and farming.
  • Offers expertise, don’t pretend to be an expert – You can tell, Ryan knows his stuff and is interested in talking to others about the topics. He participates in an open honest dialogue without trying to make people think that what he says is right…. he’s just sharing information and having conversations. He offers his expertise without talking down to anyone.
  • Celebrates other’s passions and successes – One of the things that draws people to Ryan is his joy in celebrating the passions and successes of others. Whether its giving people a stage from which to tell their story through guest posts or taking a photo now and then to send a friend (yes, he has done these things for me and lots of other folks!) That builds his network.

You May Be Just as Special

What’s really awesome is when you dissect what Ryan has done that most likely got him the chance to bring a farmer’s perspective to CNN, is it can be replicated. Maybe you can’t duplicate it, but I think the model holds a huge amount of potential for all of us. And of equal importance, it can serve as great motivation!

We can all do the things that Ryan does so well:

  • Create a great base of content — It takes regular blogging, tweeting, Facebook posts, etc to build your audience, draw search engines and clearly illustrate your experience & expertise.
  • Find ways to engage with others — Whether it is by joining chats which are on twitter (here’s a how-to participate and a list of established chats), following & contributing to local hash tags, or creating or finding Facebook pages that relate to your interest, there are lots of ways to find folks who talk about food and who may be interested in reading about your farm.
  • Celebrate successes no matter the size — Maybe you notice a new subscriber to your blog, or a really thoughtful comment, or some hits from a search engine…. Whatever it is celebrate it and keep your motivation up. After lots of successes you will see they add up to major accomplishments!

Janice Person is a city girl who loves cotton and biotechnology. She stumbled into a passion for communications early in life and has never looked back. A colorful adventure is her personal blog and her work in public affairs for Monsanto includes blogging and social media outreach.  Follow her on Twitter (@JPLovesCotton).

June 26th, 2012 – AgChat on Ag History

AgChat on Ag HistoryHistory Impacts On Ag Agriculture is pretty old, with recorded history certainly going back 5,000+ years. How do you think farming has changed over time? Is conventional farming dead? Do farmers have more economic power than they did 100 years ago? AgChat participants shared their thoughts on these and other ag history topics.
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June 19th, 2012 – FoodChat on Seasons and System Challenges

Seasons and System ChallengesSeasonal Food Policy? This FoodChat covered two topics: Seasonal Foods and Food Policy. Different kinds of foods for all kinds of seasons are what make eating special. Pumpkin spice lattes in July just would not seem right. What does season mean for you? Also, what are some of the challenges for people and food systems? Learn more from this great audience!
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Empower All of Agriculture on June 14th

AgChat Twive and Receive

This is going to be a very exciting week for all of agriculture. AgChat Foundation is excited to share with you a great opportunity to empower all of agriculture. And we need YOU to make it happen. That is right, this week you can make a difference in agriculture, with just a click of a button.

AgChat Foundation was selected to take part in a  nationwide giving event on Thursday,June 14th. Across the nation not-for-profit organizations will be competing to receive $30,000 in prizes in a day long Twive and Receive event. YOU can help the agriculture community come out on top. As far we can tell, AgChat Foundation was the only agriculture organization selected for this event. By winning, our agriculture community will show the nation that farmers and ranchers really do care about the mission to connect with others to tell our story.

Winning Thursday’s Twive and Receive event will also mean:

  • Support of the weekly #AgChat conversation,
  • Continuation of the premier social media training conference,
  • More regional social media training conferences in YOUR area.

We honestly do not know what it will take to win, but we do know that we have a very supportive community of agvocates just like YOU. We have a goal to have 500 agvocates donate on Thursday, June 14th.

Here is what you can do help:

On Thursday, June 14th make a donation on the AgChat Foundation Twive and Receive fundraising page. Any donation amount helps! Consider donating a dollar a day ($365). That amount will help sponsor one person to the highly successful AgChat Foundation Training Conference. If you are a past participant, you know how powerful meeting and training with other agvocates is. Give the gift of agvocate empowerment to someone else.

Share that you support agriculture and the AgChat Foundation mission. On June 14th follow and use the hashtag #Twivereceive to see AgChat Foundation’s progress on Twitter. After you make your donation grab a Twive and Receive Twibbon for your avatar. Also, make sure to share the AgChat Foundation Facebook page to let others know that you support “Agvocacy”

We are really pumped up for this event! I hope that you can join AgChat Foundation and all of agriculture on that day and show your support for our mission of empowering farmers and ranchers to connect in communities using social media platforms.

Remember: Donations must be received on June 14thAny amount helps!

Thank you to everyone who supports our mission. We cannot do it without you!

June 12th, 2012 – AgChat on Weather

AgChat on WeatherWeather How does spring weather affect harvesting or change food flavor? This AgChat offers insight on how farmers and ranchers work through the weather to continue raising food.
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