AgChat Foundation Partners with ThirstyLand Film maker Conrad Weaver

Emmitsburg, Maryland – Will there be enough water to survive? “Thirsty Land” is an exciting new documentary that tells the story of drought, its impact on agriculture, communities and the global food supply.

Filmmaker, Conrad Weaver is already well known for his award-winning documentary “The Great American Wheat Harvest.” Working with farmers and harvesters has led him to turn the focus of his company, Conjostudios LLC, exclusively to agriculture, and now he’s focusing on the drought that’s strangling our landscape, and threatening our food supply.

“The story of drought needs to be told! Our global food supply and our very survival of humans depend on clean, abundant fresh water.  I want to make the audience think about it every time they take a drink of water, enjoy a shower or water their lawn.”

The AgChat Foundation is collaborating with Weaver as the in-kind “Fiscal Sponsor” and fundraising partner of “Thirsty Land” film.  The Foundation will provide fundraising support as a 501c3 non-profit organization, enabling Weaver to receive grants, and other tax-deductible donations for the film project.

“I’m thrilled to be able to work with AgChat Foundation,” says Weaver, “Their mission for connecting consumers to their food is completely in line with the mission of our film. The films we produce at ConjoStudios are all about helping consumers understand how agriculture works, so our collaboration is a win-win for both of us!”

Jenny Schweigert, Executive Director of AgChat Foundation says, “Participation with ConjosStudios, LLC, and the Thirsty Land film is an incredible opportunity to connect consumers to the farmers and ranchers who are producing our food, fuel and fibers. The AgChat Foundation’s overall goals are two-fold: to empower those in agriculture with the tools they need to develop meaningful conversations with consumers and to provide conduit for our industry to connect with those who are not involved with farming or ranching. Conrad has a unique eye for creatively grabbing viewers’ attention while also framing situations, such as the drought, in a way which inspires everyone to become part of the solution. We are honored to assist Conrad in bringing the dire conditions of drought to the forefront of everyone’s mind by supporting the conduit provided by Thirsty Land.”

Weaver is launching a “Crowdfunding” campaign for “Thirsty Land” on June 1 through IndieGoGo.com with a goal of raising $25,000 to help with the production of the film. 
Visit https://conjostudios.leadpages.net/thirstyland-trailer/  to view the film trailer, and sign up for more information.

For interview requests and more information on the making of the film, contact Conrad Weaver at 301-606-7794 or email conrad@conjostudios.com today.

Celebrating National Agriculture Week 2015

National Agriculture Week is a tribute to the hard working folks who bring food, fuel and fiber to our everyday lives. All three elements are essential to the survival of human kind. That is something to celebrate! Wondering how you can celebrate? Here are just a few events or efforts you can find:

  • #FoodChat – moderated by Michele Payn-Knoper, ACF will be hosting our monthly #FoodChat conversation on Twitter celebrating National Agriculture Week, National Nutrition Month and St. Patrick’s day. Join the conversation Tues., March 17th, 8-10pmET.
  • Pay it forward! Become an individual sponsor of the AgChat Foundation! Contributions provided will assist in spreading the word about agriculture advocacy, assist in reducing conference registration fees during 2015 and support farmers and ranchers with resources such as how-to blog posts.
  • #AgProud – Join AgChat Foundation alum, Ryan Goodman as he celebrates National Agriculture Day by encourage you to share why you are Agriculture Proud! Use the hash tag #AgProud and #AgDay2015 on social media networks and connect to those who are using your products.
  • Check out the events around the U.S. which will be celebrating National Agriculture Day on Wed., March 18th

Celebrate National Ag Week! AgChat.org

Early Bird Discount for 2015 National Collegiate Congress Extended!

The AgChat Foundation’s National Collegiate Congress event scheduled for January 17-18, at DowAgChat Foundation's 2015 National Collegiate Congress | January 17-18, 2015 | http://agchat.rocks/indy/ AgroSciences’ headquarters in Indianapolis, aims to challenge passionate, agriculture, college-students from across the U.S. to expand their social media experiences and shorten the bridge between consumers and their food. The second day of the event will offer an optional day of touring at Fair Oaks Farms on January 18.

Due to popular response, the AgChat Foundation has extended the early bird registration until December 10. The discount provides $10 off the 2015 National Collegiate Congress registration fee and $25 off AgChat Foundation’s 2015 Global Agvocacy conference scheduled for November of 2015.

“I have been to many social media seminars, but most, if not every, teaches to an older audience. They come off as elementary to a person in my demographic that uses and grew up with social media,” says Clayton Glazik, a University of Illinois senior studying Agricultural Communications and Advertising. “It’s refreshing to find a conference focusing on agriculture advocacy geared to my age group.”

“The collegiate demographic is an integral part of the agriculture industry. They are firmly tied to digital connections and when compared to all other demographics, are leading the way in social media. It is only natural that the AgChat Foundation offer an inaugural event targeting college, agriculture students across the U.S.,” replied AgChat Foundation’s Executive Director Jenny Schweigert. “Our training will focus on translating their current social media experiences to an understanding of how to tell agriculture’s story. Essentially, we are taking a proactive approach by fostering the future of the agvocacy community while connecting partners with the best and brightest recruits.”

With support from Dow AgroSciences, National FFA and Animal Agriculture Alliance, the National Collegiate Congress will bring together 165 students to learn about extending their abilities to connecting with consumers.

The event will include sessions on what consumers see and hear, how social media can be improved to tell a story when you are living on campus and away from the farm, how to use blogging, and what it means to make a consumer connection, both on and offline. Attendees can expect a strong focus on networking with other students and exchanging ideas on how to connect with fellow non-agriculture students on their campuses.

In addition, students will learn more about connecting agriculture to consumers through an optional tour of Fair Oaks Farm in Fair Oaks, Indiana. The tour is scheduled for Sunday, January 18 and will include the dairy adventure, pig adventure and the cheese and yogurt factory. A discounted lunch will be offered at the Fair Oaks Farms Farmhouse restaurant, which offers a wide variety of cuisine including Fair Oaks Farms’ ice cream. The tour will provide a hands-on look at how Fair Oaks creates unique visibility of dairy and pork farming.

Learn more about the event at http://agchat.org/indy.

If you would like additional information about the AgChat Foundation, learn more about partnering on this event or to schedule an interview, contact Jenny Schweigert at 309-241-8803 or email execdir {at} agchat {dot} org.

AgChat National Collegiate Congress

***Registration is now OPEN! Please visit our new event site by clicking here.***

Indianapolis will host the National Collegiate Congress, a social media and agvocacy workshop scheduled for January 17, 2015 at Dow 2015 ACF Collegiate CongressAgroSciences’ headquarters, with an optional day of touring at Fair Oaks Farms on January 18. The training workshop aims to challenge passionate, agriculture, college-students from across the U.S. to expand their social media experiences and shorten the bridge between consumers and their food.

“Social media is always fun for learning about new ways to connect, but in the long run finding the right balance is what determines success,” says Lela Perez, a Texas A&M senior studying Animal Science. “I would try to inform those needing to connect with consumers of what to actually say, rather than just teaching them how.“

This event will focus on providing college students and new graduates with the tools to transform how they use both social media and in person interactions when engaging in agriculture and food conversations.

“I have been to many social media seminars, but most, if not every, teaches to an older audience. They come off as elementary to a person in my demographic that uses and grew up with social media,” says Clayton Glazik, a University of Illinois senior studying Agricultural Communications and Advertising. “It’s refreshing to find a conference focusing on agriculture advocacy geared to my age group.”

“The collegiate demographic is an integral part of the agriculture industry. They are firmly tied to digital connections and when compared to all other demographics, are leading the way in social media. It is only natural that the AgChat Foundation offer an inaugural event targeting college, agriculture students across the U.S.,” replied AgChat Foundation’s Executive Director Jenny Schweigert. “Our training will focus on translating their current social media experiences to an understanding of how to tell agriculture’s story. Essentially, we are taking a proactive approach by fostering the future of the agvocacy community while connecting partners with the best and brightest recruits.”

With support from Dow AgroSciences, National FFA and Animal Agriculture Alliance, the National Collegiate Congress will bring together 165 students to learn about extending their abilities to connecting with consumers.

The event will include sessions on what consumers see and hear, how social media can be improved to tell a story when you are living on campus and away from the farm, how to use blogging, and what it means to make a consumer connection, both on and offline. Attendees can expect a strong focus on networking with other students and exchanging ideas on how to connect with fellow non-agriculture students on their campuses.

In addition, students will learn more about connecting agriculture to consumers through an optional tour of Fair Oaks Farm in Fair Oaks, Indiana. The tour is scheduled for Sunday, January 18 and will include the dairy adventure, pig adventure and the cheese and yogurt factory. Lunch is included at the Cheese Factory Cafe, which offers soups, grilled cheese sandwiches made with Fair Oaks cheese, and Fair Oaks ice cream. The tour will provide a hands-on look at how Fair Oaks creates unique visibility of dairy and pork farming.

If you would like additional information about the AgChat Foundation or to schedule an interview, contact Jenny Schweigert execdir at agchat dot org.

Jenny Schweigert Becomes AgChat Foundation’s New Executive Director

Jenny Schweigert Becomes AgChat Foundation New Executive DirectorThe new Executive Director aims to expand the nonprofit AgChat Foundation (ACF) by connecting with college students, and through focused regional & national events.

Schweigert will focus on advancing ACF’s mission by leading the fundraising campaigns that will support new workshops, educational series, and conferences, like the 2014 Cultivate & Connect Conference. She will also work with the ACF’s Board of Directors to build broad awareness of ACF across agriculture and consumer organizations, and provide day-to-day management oversight.

Jenny offers the fund raising and creative talent the Foundation needs to advance the connections with consumers, farmers, and the public,” says Jeff VanderWerff, ACF president. “The Foundation is aiming to build up its connectivity through regional workshops and conference series, and Jenny’s creative approach to tackling this stood head and shoulders above the rest of the candidates.

VanderWerff looks to ACF’s strong presence in connecting with farmers and ranchers of all ages and backgrounds to be a solid base on which to grow. With Schweigert’s direction, ACF will set the stage for an expanded regional workshop series for AgChat Conference alumni and college students, as well as expand the highly successful national conference for the fall of 2015.

Jenny received her bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness with an emphasis in Animal Science, and Marketing from Illinois State University, later receiving graphic and web design training through Illinois Community College. Previously, she served as the ACF’s Director of Communications and as Marketing Specialist for the Hopedale Medical Complex in Hopedale, Illinois. Jenny, and her husband, Jeff, and their three sons, operate a small family farm while also assisting on her in-law’s Jersey dairy operation, both in central Illinois.

About the AgChat Foundation

The AgChat Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, empowers farmers and ranchers with the necessary tools to share their stories with those disconnected from agriculture. The organization offers customized training for companies and organizations, regional conferences, alumni and collegiate events, an annual global conference, and weekly #AgChat conversations on Twitter every Tuesday, 8-10 p.m. ET (except for the third Tuesday of the month when #FoodChat is hosted).

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If you would like additional information about the AgChat Foundation or to schedule an interview, contact Jenny Schweigert at 309-241-8803 or email execdir@agchat.org.