Meet Thom Singer – 2014 Cultivate & Connect Keynote Speaker

One of this year’s conference goals to make sure attendees get everything they possibly can from our conferences. Did you know that the thom-singer-casual-image-head-only-300wmain reason individuals attend conferences, conventions and seminars is for the networking?

Working as a conference catalyst, keynote speaker Thom Singer will energize with his presentation while also guiding attendees to make meaningful connections.

AgChat Foundation board member and podcaster Tim Zweber, had the opportunity to speak with Thom and learn more about what attendees can expect. Take a listen!

Exclusive farmer & rancher registration is open now! Registration for agribusiness professionals and educators opens Friday, March 21. Due to high demand and growth of this conference, seating will be limited. Register at your earliest convenience! 

Direct link to MP3 audio

AgChat Foundation Announces 2014 Cultivate & Connect Conference

It has been said that everything is bigger in Texas. The AgChat Foundation’s 2014 Cultivate & Connect conference to be held at the Radisson istockphoto-austin-city-skyline-at-night-crop-300wHotel & Suites in beautiful downtown Austin, Texas, August 21-22, 2014, will be no exception [registration link].

For the first time, our annual conference will include an open registration process which does not require participants to complete an application and receive an invitation to attend. Additionally, there will be no limit on the number of alumni attendees nor a limit on non-farmers and non-ranchers. It will be the best and biggest AgChat conference to date [registration link].

Who can attend?

Cultivate & Connect is open to all farmers, ranchers, growers, agribusiness people and agriculture educators from all walks of agriculture. Large, small, organic, conventional, urban, hobby? You are all invited to attend.

Why should you attend?

  • Expansive networking within the AgChat community
  • Connect with leading experts and your peers
  • Learn and share innovative and cutting edge ideas
  • The best of the best in Ag speakers
  • Cultivate & Connect brings together the latest in technology and the farmers and ranchers who are using it
  • An experience you will never forget

Main Sessions Include:Austin, Texas, The Live Country Music Capital of the World is the location of the 2014 Cultivate & Connect conference scheduled for Aug. 21-22, 2014.

  • What Chefs and Moms Really Say About the Food You are Growing
  • Does Community Engagement Work Offline and Why You Should Care
  • What is “Social Media Voice” and How Do You Find Yours?
  • Too little Time, Too Many Activities. Help Me!
  • Can You Build Your Community To Help Create Action?
  • 5 Questions You Need To Learn To Answer About Being A Farmer, Dealing With The Questions
  • Photo Walk About To Get The Pictures You Want

Keynote Speaker Thom Singer

Thom Singer keynote speaker for the Cultivate & Connect conference, Aug. 21-22, 2014.


Thom Singer is an engaging speaker who will cause you to explore creative ways to make, grow and keep your business relationships. Thom debunks the myths of networking and delivers actions items for success. He has authored ten books on the power of business relationships, networking, presentation skills and entrepreneurship, and regularly speaks to corporate, law firm and convention audiences. Participants will learn how to ‘lunch with strangers,’ ways to ignite deeper conversations, how to make deeper connections with consumers and meaningful relationships.


Call for Session Proposals

Share your story! How are you working differently? How are you making a difference? What approaches are you finding successful? How are you reaching new audiences? Are you connecting with youth? What tools or technologies are you using? How are your customers, followers, or audiences responding to your social media efforts? Compile and submit a proposal for a 2014 Cultivate & Connect conference session by clicking here. 

How do I register?

Exclusive registration for farmers and ranchers begins at 8amCT on Friday, March 7th. Registration for non-farmers and non-ranchers will begin at 8am CT on Friday, March 21st [registration link for all attendees].

Attend AgChat's 2014 Cultivate & Connect conference Aug. 21-22, 2014 in Austin, Texas.

Call For Session Proposals For The 2014 AgChat Conference

AgChat Conference Session Proposal RequestWhat Have You Been Doing? The AgChat Foundation is calling for session proposals for its national conference with the theme: “How Do You Empower, Connect, and Use Social Media Platforms?”. The AgChat 2014 Conference will be held August 21 & 22, 2014, in Austin, TX. To submit a proposal go to:

Share your story! How are you working differently? How are you making a difference? What approaches are you finding successful? How are you reaching new audiences? Are you connecting with youth? What tools or technologies are you using? How are your customers, followers, or audiences responding to your social media efforts? What makes your approach different and successful? How are you collaborating within your state? Is collaboration paying off? How are you evaluating your work? Presentations during concurrent sessions will be 45 minutes in length: 30 minutes for presentations and 15 minutes for questions & answers.

  1. Innovation — Tell us about different ways in which you’re working. Is mobile social a part of your sharing and learning? Are youth and adults in your audience mix? How have you taken “traditional” media and changed it? How have you increased content discoverability? Can you use a successful case study to share your ideas?
  2. Engagement — Are you reaching people where they are? How is your audience or followers connecting with each other and you? What works now or will work in the future? How are you providing meaningful, relevant, and current information? Are you engaging both youth and adults? How is that working? Can you share a successful case study?
  3. Community Building — Is your community / network growing? What are the measures you’re using to see growth? What cultural phenomena are you experiencing as you build networks? Are you facilitating learning communities? Are both youth and adults a part of your network? How are they engaging? Do you have a successful case study you can share?
  4. Evaluation & Effectiveness — How is social media working for you? What are you finding with social media that’s worth sharing? How are you engaging both youth and adult audiences? How are you connecting your content with various social media? We’re interested in successful case studies; what can you share?

Top proposals in each category will be voted on by the public. Winning proposals will receive complimentary registration to the conference for all persons named in the application. Travel and hotel are the responsibility of the presenter(s). Proposals are due March 24, 2014. Successful proposals will be notified by April 11, 2014. To submit a proposal go to: You will be asked for the following information:

  • Presenter Name(s)
  • Contact information
  • Social media names or links
  • Presentation Title
  • Session proposal, 300 words; helpful links may be included.

Have questions? Send us a note to

YOU can help us plan Agvocacy 2.0 in 2014

We are all familiar with the conference play book. Keynote, breakout, breakout, keynote with lunch, breakout, breakout, keynote. yawn…

I have to admit that AgChat Foundation’s conference have looked like this in the past. But we are throwing out the conference playbook and reinventing what an Agvocacy conference should look like.


What if you could not only listen to key food influencers, but actually form a relationship with them? 

What if farmer and rancher leaders in social engagement sat down with you at your laptop and gave you one on one advice?



What if you left the conference with an actual social engagement plan already to go?


What if you had the chance to meet in real life and have a great time with your online friends?


What if after you left the conference you still had a community cheering you on?


What if you went to a conference that actually inspired you?


This is what we are hoping to do in 2014. But we need your help. We want to know what makes a great conference for you. We also want your suggestions on location. Please fill out this short (10 question) survey. Just taking a few minutes of your time will make the next Agvocacy 2.0 Conference the best conference you have ever been to.

Please fill out the survey today. The survey closes at 7:00pm CST on Wednesday, November 6, 2013.

Thank you!

~Emily Zweber, ACF Executive Director

Recap AgChat’s 2013 National Agvocacy 2.0 Conference

Last week, agvocates from all over the U.S. and Canada were welcomed to the southern charm and hospitality of Charlotte, North Carolina for AgChat Foundation’s 2013 National Agvocacy 2.0 conference. The event began with powerhouse, social media guru Jay Baer, speaking to the philosophy of helping people rather hyping people up about your message. As the presentation went on many participants tweeted quotes such as Janice Person who tweeted, “Being helpful shouldn’t be dependent on being their customer first. I so see “Miracle on 34th Street” now from a SM perspective #acfc13.” Another attendee, Lindsay Murphy, was spotted tweeting, “Use social media to promote what you can do for someone, how you can be useful – rather than about you.” And, Jen Trout quoted Jay as saying,”Trust is the seed of agvocacy” This is so true!

Jay Baer

Following the opening keynote, participants were given mission cards and helped each other accomplish challenges from the cards. Challenges included taking a selfie and posting it on Twitter, sign up for a new social media platform, arm wrestling Dairy Carrie for cheese and downloading a podcast from Janice Person, just to name a few. The interactions provided attendees an opportunity to meet one another in a real life setting.

Mission Cards at #ACFC13

Before and after lunch the entire clan of agnerds were given the opportunity to pick the brains of agvocates Ray Bowman of, Brian Scott of and Karla Pankow of Bossy The panel provided attendees with a bird’s eye view of how this group has been successful using social media to reach beyond the choir of agriculture folks. While listening to the panel Hannah Thompson (@BuckeyeHannah) quoted Ray Bowman on Twitter as saying, “It’s okay to have an opinion. Just don’t tell everyone it’s the one they should have.” A great reminder as we all improve our agvocating skills. As a testament to the success available thru social media, Karla then shared that Bossy Acres sells 98% of their CSA shares via Twitter.

Right on the heels of lunch was a “Perspectives Around the Plate” panel which included dietician and food blogger Rebecca Subbiah of, mommy blogger Christa Threlfall of, consumer Kristin Davis and Executive Chef Scott Hollingsworth. All four panelists provided eye opening insight on many levels. When asked about food labeling and ‘Food, Inc.’ Christa Threlfall, may have said it best when she said, “Who ever is the loudest and scariest is going to be heard.” The conversation switched gears and the panelist were discussing the importance of an online presence when Kristin Davis stated, “If you don’t have a website or are not connected to social media you don’t exist to me.” The need for passionate agvocates could not have been demonstrated in a more motivating light.

Perspectives from Around the Plate - #ACFC13

During lunch, attention was turned to Jenn Dahm who represented the United Farmers and Ranchers Association (USFRA). Providing an update on consumer research, she keyed into the need for transparency across all segments of agriculture. She also spoke to the significance of food labeling and how new innovations such as QR codes and bar codes are important ways consumers are gathering information. Following her presentation past ACF Board Member, Chuck Zimmerman of ZimmComm, had a chance to speak with Jenn and Lisa Cassady. You can listen to their interview here.

USFRA Research

As an advanced level conference, #ACFC13 provided participants with an opportunity to attend a selection of breakout and roundtable sessions including effectively utilizing your Facebook feed, the world around being a geek, Pinterest, handling trolls and detractors, photo and video media, goal setting and time management. With standing room only, the Trolls Under the Bridge session gave attendees a chance to see how leading agvocates Brian Scott, Katie Pinke and Ryan Goodman deal with detractors.

Trolls Under the Bridge - Katie Pinke, Brian Scott and Ryan Goodman

A popular highlight of ACF National conferences are the Swap Meets where you can find goodies from each respective attendee which are then traded with items from another attendee’s state or province. This year’s event brought everything from Wisconsin & Minnesota cheese, Kentucky beer, the very trendy alligator snack sticks from Florida, apparel from Dekalb, Asgrow and Nationwide, local sodas such as Merriewine (yummy!) from North Carolina and Ski from southern Illinois, Tennessee Moonpies, Idaho Spud Bars, drink huggies from Texas and numerous other items from across the U.S. and Canada. The festivities continued in the hospitality room where everyone was treated to Sartori cheese from Dairy Carrie and Kentucky Ale from Alltech’s David Butler.

ACFC13 Swap


As the conference came to a close everyone was inspired by the outstanding closing keynote given by Laura Daniels, a ‘sassy farmer’ and professional speaker who cares for her family and 300 Jersey cows.  While many laughed and cried, it was the inspiration that she poured into the audience which lit the sky. The presentation was a reminder to look into our hearts and find the why behind what you are doing. Use that why to become the hitch pin between non-agricultural folks and your story. And remember that when it comes to agvocating, “if you aren’t feeling butterflies, you’re not pushing yourself hard enough.”

We would like to thank all of our wonderful sponsors for making this conference possible! Hats off to USFRA, Alltech, Farm Credit, Minnesota Corn Growers, Syngenta, Dairy Management, Inc., American Farm Bureau Federation, Charleston | Orwig, Truffle Media and Titan Outlet Store.

Other great posts about #ACFC13:

Connections at ACFC13

Be sure to watch for more information about how you could attend a Regional or National AgChat Foundation conference.