Marie Bowers-Oregon, Farmer, Vice-President
Marie Bowers is a 5th generation grass seed farmer in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, farming land that has been in her family for over a hundred years. Prior to returning to the family farm she graduated from Washington State University with degrees in Agriculture and Agriculture Economics and Management then spent 3 years in the Farm Credit System. When she discovered #Agchat on twitter it opened many doors and connections. It fueled her passion for telling her story via social media and encouraging others to do the same!
Zach Hunnicutt is a fifth-generation family farmer from Aurora, Nebraska, who farms with his dad, brother, and cousin raising irrigated corn, popcorn and soybeans. Zach received a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing an MBA from Nebraska. Their farm has always been on the cutting edge of ag technology, and being able to connect with farmers and consumers from around the world through social media is a great extension of that focus.
Ryan Weeks – Nebraska, Farmer, Secretary
Ryan Weeks is from the heart of South Central Nebraska. He and his wife Kristi operate Weeks Family Farms which raises Yellow Commercial Corn, White food grade corn, Popcorn, Soybeans, Alfalfa and Prairie Hay. Ryan is very involved at both the local and national levels as a voice for agriculture. His Social Media involvement in agvocacy began in 2009 with a promotion by the Nebraska Corn Board called “Follow a Farmer on Twitter”. That involvement led him to attending the first AgChat Conference in Chicago, IL. Since that time he has been involved in a support role with AgChat by serving on the Training Committee and working with logistics for the conferences. Ryan sees the role of our organization as fostering a community to communicate, educate, foster ideas, and share the story of our farms to preserve our right to do what we do for generations to come. He currently has a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Linked In, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Darin Grimm – Kansas, Farmer, Past President
Darin is a grain farmer and cattle feeder from northeast Kansas. Born and raised on the farm, he spent the first few years out of school engrossed in the exciting, new world of personal computers. After spending time in computer programming and network administration, Grimm returned home to the farm at the need of his family. He then combined his passion for farming and technology by becoming more involved with precision agriculture. As one of the founding members of AgChat Foundation, Grimm has led the organization in several capacities while sharing the modern agriculture vision with those who have lost touch with how food, fiber, and fuel is produced today.
Brian Scott – Indiana, Farmer
Brian Scott is a 4th generation Indiana corn, soybean, popcorn, and wheat farmer. Through his blog The Farmer’s Life and associated social media accounts Brian discusses the daily happenings of his family farm, and also tackles hot topics like biotechnology. Brian can also be found writing posts for CNN’s Eatocracy and 12Most.com. He has served for several years on the ACF Training Committee assisting with planning of ACF events. Additionally, he serves on ACF’s #AgChat/#FoodChat committee as co-chairperson.
Mark Gale – Wisconsin, Agribusiness Liaison
Mark still has a couple of 4-H ribbons from the Walworth, Wisconsin, county fair in a drawer somewhere, though he did not grow up on a farm. After studying journalism in college, Mark started his career in Florida as a newspaper reporter, covering a variety of topics from devastating freezes in the Citrus Groves to Migrant Workers. Much of the rest of his career has been spent at advertising agencies working closely with agriculture. He is now a partner at Charleston Orwig, and has the privilege of working closely with many clients large and small who serve virtually all aspects of food production – including those who work and live other lifestyles. “I am excited to see social media used as a way to connect farmers and consumers together so they can learn from one another.”
Kathy Swift, DVM – Florida, Veterinarian
Kathy was born and raised on a dairy farm in Virginia, earned her DVM at The Ohio State University and chose to have a career in agriculture as a cattle veterinarian because of her love for animals. Kathy serves a variety of clients in Florida and southern Georgia. She enjoys being an information resource for people, as the care and health of animals continues to be a growing concern for consumers. Kathy is excited to be involved with this diverse group in educating people about the many ways agriculture helps their everyday lives. “Social media is important because it allows personal interactions between people who ordinarily would not come in contact with each other.”