2016 Cultivate & Connect Closing Keynote Announced

This year’s theme at the Cultivate & Connect conference is People. Perseverance. Progress. Its only fitting that the closing keynote speaker is a people person who has live perseverance and overcome adversity to achieve the progress no experts ever believed she could.

In 2010, a renowned rodeo cowgirl with numerous buckles, awards and a world championship title, came face-to-face with the event which would change her life. As she was traveling to the Denver Stock Show and Rodeo, her vehicle veered off the interstate, rolling seven times, eventually coming to a stop without its passenger. Later that day, emerAmberley Snyder to speak at the 2016 Cultivate & Connect conference in Kansas City - www.KansasCity.AgChat.orggency room doctors informed Amberley Snyder that her back had been broken and she would never regain use or feeling below the waist. Walking was impossible. Getting back on the horse was out of the question.

Through remarkable perseverance, Snyder’s passion and competitive spirit prevailed. The lessons she has gained are ones she wouldn’t trade. While she is a highly decorated cowgirl, reaching heights beyond most 18 year-old’s dreams, it was that unfortunate winter morning which gave her life’s meaning.

“You can be a good person without those titles. I had to become who I was as a person,” Synder shared. “I want people to know that if you aren’t bringing home those titles and awards, you can still be a great person. You can still change lives of everyone you come into contact. You can’t touch people’s lives if you give up.”

Snyder will close the 2016 Cultivate & Connect conference in inspirational form, providing agvocates motivation to persevere through the challenges. Registration for the conference is now open with a discounted rate of $268 for farmers, ranchers and growers.

Visit www.KansasCity.AgChat.org for additional information, including the agenda with session descriptions.

AgChat Foundation Announces Greg Peterson as Keynote for 2016 Cultivate & Connect Conference

The AgChat Foundation is excited to announce Greg Peterson of The Peterson Farm Brothers as keynote speaker of for the 2016 Cultivate & Connect Conference this December in Kansas City.Greg Peterson Headshot2

Greg Peterson is a 2013 graduate of Kansas State University where he majored in Agricultural Communications and Journalism. He grew up and still works on a family farm near Assaria, KS with his parents, 2 brothers, and sister. In June of 2012, Greg and his brothers released a video on YouTube entitled, “I’m Farming and I Grow It” that received over 9 million views. Since then Greg and his brothers have continued to produce videos and are now up to 37 million total views on YouTube. The videos have given Greg and his brothers many opportunities around the country and the world to talk about agriculture and he is passionate about the future of the industry.

“I’m looking forward to returning to the AgChat conference this December. It’s always a great experience to connect and re-connect with people involved in agriculture advocacy. The AgChat conference brings to life the online involvement of so many people.”
We are very excited to have Greg present. Make sure to join our Facebook event for the conference to keep up with who’s attending, new details & more!

AgChat Foundation Announces 2016 Summer Interns

The AgChat Foundation is pleased to announce the addition of Mallorie Wipple and Kyndal Reitzenstein, as the 2016 summer communications interns. Ms. Wipple’s primary responsibility is coordinating communications effort the Foundation while Ms. Reitzenstein will focus on communications from the Ask the Farmers initiative.

“As our organization grows at a rapid pace, adding a second internship to the summer 2016 AgChat Foundation Summer Communications Intern Mallorie Wipple - AgChat.orgprogram was imperative. Ms. Wipple and Ms. Reitzenstein bring impressive credentials to the table,” said Jenny Schweigert, executive director of the AgChat Foundation. “We are thrilled to expand our support of our industry’s young leaders and assist in rounding their skill sets.”

Wippel is a senior at The Ohio State University majoring in Agricultural Communications. Growing up on a swine and grain farm in central Ohio has instilled in her a love for the industry. In her free time she enjoys creating branding content for beginning businesses so they can share their agriculture story with others.

“I am excited to serve as the Communications Intern for the AgChat Foundation,” said Wipple, “This experience will further my goals to advocate for the agriculture industry as I hone my social media skills and communications expertise.”

A native of Colorado and Oklahoma State University student, Ms. Reitzenstein brings the community her experience as a photographer and graphic curator. She grew up on a cattle 2016 ACF Ask the Farmers Communications Intern - Kyndal Reitzenstein - AgChat.orgoperation raising primarily Angus cattle while also showing both cattle and pigs nationwide. Reitzenstein has been a member of the National Champion Meat Animal Evaluation Team and the Reserve National Champion Livestock Judging Team. She has also served on multiple communications teams for national magazines.

“I hold the agricultural industry near and dear to my heart,” said Reitzenstein, “I am beyond excited to work with the Ask the Farmers team to expand my knowledge about social media and advocating for agriculture.”

The AgChat Foundation is a 501c3 organization which exists to empower farmers, ranchers, agribusiness professionals and agricultural enthusiasts with the tools needed to tell their stories. The Foundation will begin offering a fall internship program in September 2016.

 

2016 Cultivate & Connect Conference Announced

The AgChat Foundation is dedicated to empower farmers, ranchers, and agriculturalists with2016 Cultivate & Connect - AgChat.org the tools to share their stories to consumers – on social media, one-on-one connections and at the legislative level. The Foundation does so through online materials, regional events, and global conferences.

 

The 2016 Cultivate & Connect global conference will be held December 8-9, 2016, in Kansas City. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn from the best of the best in social media, agriculture advocacy and interpersonal skills. The event will open with keynote speaker Vance Crowe who will set the stage with his motivational expertise and experience.

Vance Crowe opening keynote speaker at the 2016 Cultivate & Connect conference - AgChat.org

Registration for the event will begin June 15. Watch for further keynote announcements in the coming weeks.

For information pertaining to sponsorship opportunities of this event, please contact Jenny Schweigert at 309-241-8803 or execdir@agchat.org. We look forward to working with you.

AgChat to Continue the Ask the Farmers Project

An open letter to the members of the Ask the Farmers & AgChat communities:

Agvocacy, much like agriculture, is a constantly evolving world that we all must work hard to keep up in. Challenges Ask The Farmers Logofrom consumers, skeptics, activists, and bureaucrats are constantly questioning our production systems, no matter what they may be. In the last few years, these challenges have only increased, and the rhetoric has only become more and more polarizing.

Then, from the darkness, appear these beacons of hope. And just like the glow from a lighthouse, they begin to shine through the fog and show us the way forward. Over the past several months, I’ve watched in awe as a few dedicated folks began to shine that light by addressing questions that our customers have in the most basic and non-confrontational of ways; by “asking the farmers”.

The work of Ask the Farmers has been nothing short of amazing. The group has shown tremendous dedication and leadership towards a cause that is far greater than any one person or group of people. They have chosen to dedicate their time and talents to opening their barn doors and tractor cabs for all the world to see.

And the results have been amazing.

It has, however, been taxing on the creators of the group. As I’m sure you can understand, it takes considerable time and effort to manage a community that has grown so quickly. The founders should be commended for the hard work and dedication they have shown up to this point. However, the time commitments of this group have simply become too great for them.

Last week, The AgChat Foundation, a 501c3 non profit, began talks with the creators of the Ask The Farmers group to acquire the rights, trademarks, and domain names of the group. I’m pleased to announce that we have secured those rights. I’d like to make it very clear at this point that we have no plans or ideas to change the basic structure of Ask The Farmers.

The community, that you are all invested in, works, and it works well. We, as ACF, want to continue ATF (ask the farmers) as a stand-alone, independent group, with ACF providing the back-office support that this type of undertaking requires. It is our hope that ATF will continue to be a place where folks can ask questions, seek answers, and find the farmers and bloggers that help connect farm to fork.

This is a very exciting time for Ask The Farmers. We hope that everyone will continue to help us grow the community, and continue to connect consumers with the food we produce every day. In the meantime, if you have any, and I do mean ANY questions, please do not hesitate to contact myself or any of the other members of our ACF/ATF transition team.

Sincerely,

Jeff VanderWerff

President and Board Chairman

AgChat Foundation, Inc.

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Contact Information:

Jeff VanderWerff, President and Board Chair 

Marie Bowers Stagg, Vice President

Brian Scott, Secretary

Zach Hunnicutt, Treasurer

Krista Stauffer, Director & Ask the Farmers Founder/Admin

Jenny Schweigert, Executive Director