by Carrie Mess
For the last two years, towards the end of August, I have packed up my cow print suitcase, a bunch of cheese, my husband and hopped a plane bound towards the city that was hosting one of the greatest groups of people that I know, the people of AgChat. For three years now, (I missed the first one) the Agchat Foundation has hosted a conference aimed to teach farmers and other agriculture professionals how to use social media as a tool to reconnect people to their food. Each year there are more people that apply than what the conference can hold and many more that never apply because the location is too far or the timing isn’t right. Taking all of that into consideration and pairing it with the foundation’s goal to reach as many people as we can, the idea to hold regional conferences was born.
Thanks to a partnership with the Minnesota Corn Growers and the Minnesota Farm Bureau, the Agchat Foundation is excited to announce that the first regional Agchat conference will be held Saturday, February 23rd at the DoubleTree Hotel in Rochester, Minnesota!
So why should you plan on attending?
Well first of all, us Mid-Westerners know that by the time the end of February rolls around we are all desperate for just about anything that will get us out of the house. The regional training committee was certain to book a hotel with many modern conveniences such as heat and unfrozen water lines. A luxury for many of us that will be battling the elements all winter. And if you are uncertain that even the heat of a forced air furnace cranked all the way up to high is enough to warm you up, we are certain that a full day of learning about how YOU can use the internet to change opinions, educate and connect with people from all walks of life will light a spark for agvocacy inside of you that will defrost even the most frozen among us. And the friendships and connections you will make learning with your fellow agvocates? That’s like the marshmallows on the hot cocoa, the best part!
So what’s different at the regional conference from ACFC 2.0?
- The regional conference is held in one day. This allows folks who aren’t able to get away from the farm for the full time of ACFC 2.0 to still come and learn.
- Because we have so much ground to cover in one day the regional conference’s schedule is designed with many breakout sessions that allow you to pick what areas of social media you are most interested in and focus on those topics. This is in addition to our opening and closing sessions that everyone will benefit from.
- Our regional conference is the on-ramp for people who really want to be part of the agvocacy action online but don’t know where to start or have a foothold in one or two areas of social media but want to explore other venues of conversation and improve the skills they already have.
- The regional conference is open to people from anywhere, however with the location it is going to draw folks in driving distance of Rochester. This means you will be learning with your neighbors and friends, in fact you should probably forward this link to them right now!
So it’s time to get fired up about agvocacy and make your plans to attend the very first AgChat Foundation regional conference! Leave the long underwear at home because it’s sure to be a hot time in Rochester!
Farmers & ranchers, visit our Eventbrite page to register beginning Fri., Nov. 9th!
Carrie Mess is a city girl turned Wisconsin Dairy farmer. Her interest in sharing her story turned into a love for AgVocating. You can follow The Adventures of Dairy Carrie on her blog WWW.dairycarrie.com, facebook WWW.facebook.com/dairycarrie or @dairycarrie on twitter.