Who Is The Social Media Farmer Of The Year?

Who Is The Social Media Farmer Of The Year?Carrie Mess, a dairy farmer and self-described “agvocate” was named the Social Media Farmer of the Year at the AgChat Foundation’s Cultivate & Connect Show in Austin, Texas. Sponsored by leading food industry publication Food Nutrition & Science, this award recognizes farmers who have incorporated social media, digital media and internet strategies to achieve their business objectives including growing revenue, sharing information for more effective farming practices, and promoting positive awareness of the industry.

“Carrie has clearly used social media as a tool to help promote her farm, the industry and also as a platform for social change,” says Phil Lempert, editor of Food Nutrition & Science. “This is our first award and she’s a stellar example of how farmers can use social media to educate the industry and consumers and make change.”

Mess and her family run Mesa Dairy, a Lake Mills, Wisconsin-based dairy and crops farm with 100 milking cows, 120 young stock and 300 acres of crops. She initially began using social media to connect with other farmers around the country. Today, she posts three times daily promoting her business and sharing snapshots of farm life. She also uses social media for social initiatives. In 2011 during a drought, Mess solicited donations from Wisconsin farmers to fund seven semi-loads of donated hay to farmers in Oklahoma and Texas.

In addition, after an open letter to a corporate restaurant chain in her blog, The Adventures of Dairy Carrie, the company removed a marketing campaign that many farmers found offensive and now has aligned with an agricultural organization. Her blog has grown from 55,000 page views in 2012 to more than 1.1 million in 2013 and articles have been picked up by Huffington Post, The Guardian and local news stations.

The Social Media Farmer of the Year Award also is being sponsored by Monsanto, Bolthouse Farms, AgChat Foundation, Inc., and AgWired.com.

Win a FREE registration to Cultivate and Connect

There are just some gosh darn nice people in this world! Recently you may have seen that we had an anonymous donor donate two free registrations Apply to win a FREE registration to the 2014 Cultivate & Connect conference!! www.AgChat.org/Austinto AgChat Foundation’s Cultivate and Connect Conference in August in Austin, TX. Well, Richard over at Pro-Ag was the recipient of one free registration. He was grateful to have won, but wanted to pay-it-forward by donating his award. He wants to see the registration used toward a farmer or rancher who really needs the financial help to attend the conference.


If you are a farmer or rancher who is interested in attending the AgChat Foundation’s Cultivate and Connect Conference in Austin, TX, August 21-22, 2014, and not currently registered, you now have an opportunity to win a FREE registration!

Here is how it works:

You have 48 hours to answer this essay question in 140 characters or less:

How do you define being an online advocate for agriculture. 

Click here to submit your answer.

Contest Eligibility

  • Must be a farmer or rancher
  • Must not be currently registered for the 2014 AgChat Foundation Cultivate and Connect Conference.
  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Contest begins at 5pm Wednesday, July 16th, central daylight time.
  • Must submit your answer to the essay question by 5pm Friday, July 18 central daylight time
  • Essay answers must be submitted using this link
  • NO PURCHASE necessary to win.

This contest is sponsored by AgChat Foundation, Inc, PO Box 196, Elko, MN 55020.

*By entering you allow Pro-Ag to contact you about their current programs and opportunities for farmers and ranchers.

Sunday’s Spotlight

Today we are spotlighting the first five blogs and/or Facebook pages left in last Saturday’s “Saturday Sharefest!”

Congratulations to the top five!! Be sure to check these pages & sites out & share with your followers. Bonus points for sharing with your non-ag friends!

Check out agwithdrlindsay.com - AgChat.org

Want to meet Dr. Lindsay in person? Register for the 2014 Cultivate & Connect conference!

Free 2014 Cultivate & Connect Registrations Announced

AgChat Foundation is excited to announce that a generous anonymous donor has agreed to awarding two AgChat Foundation Cultivate and Connect 2014 registrants a free registration. See below for official rules which contain entry information. To register for the 2014 Cultivate and Connect conference visit www.AgChat.org/Austin.

Don't miss the 2014 Cultivate & Connect Conference! Register at www.AgChat.org/Austin

Official Rules:

AgChat Foundation Cultivate and Connect 2014 Registration Contest.

  • No purchase necessary.
  • To Enter:
    • To enter register for the AgChat Foundation Cultivate and Connect Conference 2014 by June 18, 2014. Your registration will be an automatic entry.
    • To enter without purchase, send a stamped addressed postcard with your name, address, phone number and email to: AgChat Foundation, Attn: ACFC14 Contest, PO Box 196, Elko, MN 55020. Entries must be received by June 18th. AgChat Foundation is not responsible for entries that do not contain the correct information or necessary postage.
    • Only one entry per person will be accepted.
    • Purchasing a registration does not increase your chances of winning.
  • Contest Sponsor:
    • This contest is sponsored by AgChat Foundation, Inc. PO Box 196, Elko, MN 55020
  • Number of prizes:
    • The contest prizes will be two full registrations to the AgChat Foundation Cultivate and Connect Conference 2014. The value of each registration is up to $475. There are no cash rewards for the difference between the actual price and value of top prize. There will be no cash rewards for winners who choose not to attend the AgChat Foundation Cultivate and Connect Conference 2014. Prizes are non-transferable. The odds of winning this contest are based on the number registered participants and non-registered contest entries.
  • Geographic area of the sweepstakes and/or who is eligible to participate in the sweepstakes.
    • All legal residence of the United States of America and Canada are eligible to enter. Contest participants must be 18 years or older.
  • Opening date and scheduled termination date of the sweepstakes.
    • The contest will open on June 7, 2014 and close at midnight Central Daylight Time on June 18, 2014. Winners will be drawn on June 20, 2014 and notified. Winners must acknowledge their prize by July 1, 2014.
  • Whether all prizes offered will be awarded, and how the prizes will be awarded.
    • All prizes will be awarded. If either or both of the first winners do not acknowledge their prize by July 1, 2014, new winners will be selected.
  • Manner of selection of winners, and when a determination of winners will be made.
    • Winners will be selected and announced on June 20, 2014.
  • Where and when a list of winners can be obtained.
    • A list of the winners can be found on the AgChat Foundation website, www.agchat.org, starting Jun 23, 2014.

Good luck to all participants!

6 Tips for Gaining Financial Support to Attend the 2014 Cultivate & Connect conference

Attending conferences can be a huge turning point as an advocate of agriculture. In fact, Carrie 6 Tips for Obtaining Sponsorship www.agchat.orgMess (aka Dairy Carrie), was inspired to begin the popular DairyCarrie.com blog following an AgChat Foundation conference. Conferences offer the opportunity to build life-long relationships, gain new skills and expertise while also being ignited with passion for advocating for agriculture. Unfortunately, one of the reasons for not attending can be financial constraints. However, forming partnerships with like-minded companies is always a win-win situation. You may be asking, “but how do I form those partnerships?”

Here are some tips:

1.) Identify a list of companies which fit your agriculture expertise.

2.) Connect with those companies on any and all social media platforms. Use private messaging as a way to obtain the appropriate email address to send communications.

3.) Research the companies and become in tune with their advocating efforts.

4.) Create a proposal for forming a partnership which specifically explains how you can provide value to the company. This might include:

  • Providing a pre-determined number of tweets about the company.
  • Writing a blog post(s) supporting the company – the post(s) may feature the companies brand, latest products, deals/specials and includes links back to the company’s website.
  • Providing a pre-determined number of sponsored Facebook posts
  • Providing ad space on your blog or website – you can offer different size ad spaces and vary the length of advertising (3 month, 6 month, etc…)
  • Offer to wear clothing with their logo and tagline to the 2014 Cultivate & Connect conference
  • You may also include different levels of sponsorship

In your proposal you will want to specifically list how the allocated funds will be used – registration, travel, lodging, food, etc…

5.) Make sure your blog and social media platforms are up-to-date and complete.

6.) Keep in mind that rejection is always a possibility but with persistence you will succeed. Understand that you may receive four no’s before receiving a yes.

What other tips can you share for obtaining sponsorship?