What is your favorite ACF memory? – Sweepstakes!

The AgChat Foundation is celebrating five years of pioneering grassroots agvocacy during the 2015 Cultivate & Connect conference scheduled for November 9-10, 2015 in Nashville, TN. One lucky sweepstakes winner will receive a complimentary registration to the event by completing our entry form which asks, “What is your favorite AgChat Foundation memory?”

Enter to win the ACF Favorite Memory Sweepstakes! www.AgChat.org

How do I enter? 

Your favorite memory can be from an online connection made through #AgChat or #FoodChat, an in person event, during a conference or anything ACF related. Just complete our entry form by clicking here, submit a photo to accompany your memory via email to execdir@agchat.org (the entry form must be complete and photo received in order to qualify).

We can not wait to hear all about your favorite memories!

Don’t forget to register to make more ACF memories at this year’s Cultivate & Connect conference! Register today at http://nashville.agchat.rocks!

No purchase is necessary to enter or win. A purchase does not increase the chances of winning.

1) Eligibility: Sweepstakes (the “Sweepstakes”) is open only to those who sign up by completing the Google sweepstakes entry form, and submitting a photo which represents your favorite memory to execdir@agchat.org and who are 18 years of age as of the date of entry. The sweepstakes is only open to legal residents of the U.S. and Canada and is void where prohibited by law. Employees of AgChat Foundation (the “Sponsor”) their respective affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies and their immediate family members and/or those living in the same household of each are eligible to participate in the Sweepstakes. The Sweepstakes is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations. Void where prohibited.

2) Agreement to rules: By participating, you agree to be fully unconditionally bound by these Rules, and you represent and warrant that you meet the eligibility requirements set forth herein. In addition, you agree to accept the decisions of AgChat Foundation, Inc., as final and binding as it relates to the content. The Sweepstakes is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws.

3) Sweepstakes Period: Entries will be accepted online starting on or about September 8, 2015 and ending September 30, 2015. All online entries must be received by September 30, 2015 at 11:59pmET.

4) How to enter: The Sweepstakes must be entered by submitting an entry using the online form provided in the link provided. The entry must fulfill all sweepstakes requirements, as specified, to be eligible to win a prize. Entries that are not complete with a submission of the Google form and image via email (execdir@agchat.org) or do not adhere to the rules or specifications may be disqualified at the sole discretion of AgChat Foundation. You may enter only once and you must fill in the information requested. You may not enter more times than indicated by using multiple email addresses, identities or devices in an attempt to circumvent the rules. If you use fraudulent methods or otherwise attempt to circumvent the rules, your submission may be removed from eligibility at the sole discretion of AgChat Foundation.

5) Prize: The winner of the Sweepstakes will receive a complimentary registration to the 2015 Cultivate & Connect conference, valued at $370 for farmers, ranchers, growers; valued at $450 for agribusiness professionals and all others. Actual/appraised value may differ at time of prize award. The specifics of the prize shall be solely determined by the Sponsor. No cash or other prize substitution permitted except at Sponsor’s discretion. The prize is nontransferable. Any and all prize related expenses, including without limitation any and all federal, state and/or local taxes shall be the sole responsibility of the winner. No substitution of prize or transfer/assignment of prize to others or request for the cash equivalent by winners is permitted. Acceptance of prize constitutes permission for AgChat Foundation to use winner’s name, likeness, and entry for purposes of advertising and trade without further compensation, unless prohibited by law.

6) Odds: The odds of winning depend upon the number of eligible entries received.

7) Winner selection and notification: Winners of the Sweepstakes will be selected in a random drawing under the supervision of the Sponsor. Winners will be notified via email to the email address they entered the Sweepstakes within seven (7) days following the winner selection. AgChat Foundation shall have no liability for a winner’s failure to receive notices due to winners’ spam, junk e-mail or other security settings or for winners’ provision of incorrect or otherwise non-functioning contact information. If the selected winner cannot be contacted, is ineligible, fails to claim the prize within 15 days from the time award notification was sent, or fails to timely return a completed and executed declaration and releases as required, prize may be forfeited and an alternate winner selected.

The receipt by winner of the prize offered in this Sweepstakes is conditioned upon compliance with any and all federal and state laws and regulations. ANY VIOLATION OF THESE OFFICIAL RULES BY ANY WINNER (AT SPONSOR’S SOLE DISCRETION) WILL RESULT IN SUCH WINNER’S DISQUALIFICATION AS WINNER OF THE SWEEPSTAKES AND ALL PRIVILEGES AS WINNER WILL BE IMMEDIATELY TERMINATED.

8) Rights Granted by you: By entering this content and image, you understand that AgChat Foundation, anyone acting on behalf of AgChat Foundation, or its respective licensees, successors and assigns will have the right, where permitted by law, without any further notice, review or consent to print, publish, broadcast, distribute, and use, worldwide in any media now known or hereafter in perpetuity and throughout the World, your entry, including without limitation, the entry and winner’s name, portrait, picture, voice, likeness, image or statements about the Sweepstakes, and biographical information as news, publicity or information and for trade, advertising, public relations and promotional purposes without further compensation.

9) Terms: AgChat Foundation reserves the right, in its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes should (in its sole discretion) a virus, bugs, non-authorized human intervention, fraud or other causes beyond its control corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes. In such case, AgChat Foundation may select the recipients from all eligible entries received prior to and/or after (if appropriate) the action taken by AgChat Foundation. AgChat Foundation reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify any individual who tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operation of the Sweepstakes or website or violates these Terms & Conditions.

Any attempt by an entrant to deliberately damage any web site or undermine the legitimate operation of the sweepstakes may be a violation of criminal and civil laws and should such an attempt be made, AgChat Foundation reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law.

By entering the Sweepstakes you agree to receive email newsletters periodically from AgChat Foundation. You may opt-out of receiving this communication at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the newsletter.

10) By entering you agree to release and hold harmless AgChat Foundation, and its subsidiaries, affiliates, advertising and promotion agencies, partners, representatives, agents, successors, assigns, employees, officers and directors from any liability, illness, injury, death, loss, litigation, claim or damage that may occur, directly or indirectly, whether caused by negligence or not, from (i) such entrant’s participation in the sweepstakes and/or his/her acceptance, possession, use, or misuse of any prize or any portion thereof, (ii) technical failures of any kind, including but not limited to the malfunctioning of any computer, cable, network, hardware or software; (iii) the unavailability or inaccessibility of any transmissions or telephone or Internet service; (iv) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Promotion; (v) electronic or human error which may occur in the administration of the Promotion or the processing of entries.

11) Disputes: THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS GOVERNED BY THE LAWS OF the United States AND the state of Illinois, WITHOUT RESPECT TO CONFLICT OF LAW DOCTRINES. As a condition of participating in this Sweepstakes, participant agrees that any and all disputes which cannot be resolved between the parties, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Sweepstakes, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, exclusively before a court located in Illinois having jurisdiction. Further, in any such dispute, under no circumstances will participant be permitted to obtain awards for, and hereby waives all rights to claim punitive, incidental, or consequential damages, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, other than participant’s actual out-of-pocket expenses (i.e. costs associated with entering this Sweepstakes), and participant further waives all rights to have damages multiplied or increased.

12) Privacy Policy:  Information submitted with an entry is subject to the Privacy Policy stated on the AgChat Foundation Web Site. To read the Privacy Policy, http://www.agchat.org click here.

13) Winners List: To obtain a copy of the winner’s name or a copy of these Official Rules, mail your request along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope to: AgChat Foundation, PO Box 213, Hopedale, IL 61747. Requests must be received no later than October 31st.

14) Sponsor:  The Sponsor of the Sweepstakes is AgChat Foundation, PO Box 213, Hopedale, IL, 61747.



Celebrating Five Years of Pioneering Grassroots Agvocacy in Nashville

As a pioneer in grassroots agvocacy, the AgChat Foundation is proud to announce the 2015 Cultivate & Connect conference which will be held at the Hotel Preston in Nashville, TN. In an effort to accommodate state and country fairs; back-to-school and other agriculturally related events, the conference is scheduled for November 9-10, rather than August.

We all know pioneers in our industry, but what happens when you are the pioneer? You celebrate. And, that is 2015 Cultivate & Connect conference - register at http://nashville.agchat.rocksexactly what the AgChat Foundation community will be doing this year at the 2015 Cultivate & Connect conference, themed Celebrating Five Years of Pioneering Grassroots Agvocacy.

“In 2010, the AgChat Foundation was founded in an effort to connect farmers and ranchers while empowering them to connect communities and tell the stories behind their farms and ranches. The grassroots movement was the first of its kind which has led to training over 700 farmers, ranchers, agribusiness professionals, educators and enthusiasts,” stated Jenny Schweigert, Executive Director, AgChat Foundation. She adds, “It is amazing to see so many people successfully sharing the story behind our food and making meaningful connections with consumers. This year’s event is as much about delivering excellent training as it is about celebrating the accomplishments made by the agriculture advocacy community over the past five years.”

This year’s conference plans to accommodate over 175 food and farm devotees and do it with the flair only Music City can offer.

Who should attend?

The conference and celebration is open all farmers, ranchers, growers, agribusiness people and agriculture educators from all walks of agriculture.

What can I expect?

Sessions for beginners and advanced agvocates will include:

  • tactical strategies for providing information that the general public is seeking about food and farming,
  • writing workshops,
  • food photography,
  • Search Engine Optimization,
  • understanding analytics,
  • establishing working relationships with the media,
  • case studies,
  • information management strategies,
  • an overview of emerging social platforms,
  • and planning an event on your farm or ranch.

But wait, there’s more!

Do you have ideas for a session and are you willing to present? The AgChat Foundation is asking for session ideas with the theme: “What, How, or Why Are You Doing Things Differently with Social Media Platforms?” for the 2015 National AgChat Conference. To submit a session proposal, go to http://bit.ly/1JBjz97 . The deadline for entry is 11:59 PM Central Time June 21. One member from each winning proposal team will receive a complimentary registration to the conference. Travel and hotel are the responsibility of the presenter. The selected sessions will be announced July 1. For additional information pertaining to submitting a session proposal, contact John Blue at jlblue@trufflemedia.com.

How do I register?

Register by clicking here which will take you to the registration site http://nashville.agchat.rocks

I’ve felt so alone in agvocacy

The AgChat Foundation has now held conferences in Chicago, Nashville, Kansas City, Charlotte, NC, Portland, OR, Austin and most recently Spokane, WA. The greatness of these events can be attributed to fabulous keynote speakers such as Bruce Vincent, sessions from basic Twitter to relationship building to conflict management, tours of grocers such as Whole Foods and wheat mills and finally, the ever popular, interactive consumer panels. Above all, it is the networking and attendees which put our conferences in the excellence category. I’d like to share a reflection following the recent 2015 Pacific Northwest Agvocacy conference.

There is no argument about the disconnect between consumers and their food. It clearly exists for AgChat Foundation's 2015  Pacific Northwest Agvocacy Conferenceeveryone. One observation which became evident is that the intensity of the disconnect varies greatly from region to region in the U.S. The pacific northwest is a prime example. There are stringent battle lines which have been drawn, by consumers several generations removed from the farm as well as farmers and ranchers who are fighting for their legacies. Couple those lines with the challenges faced by governmental land management and sharing your story of farming or ranching might look like an up-hill ride.

The issues which exist in the pacific northwest are vast and agriculture is extremely diverse. Bringing growers together allowed for stressors to be shared rather than held up by one person. As we all networked and chatted during the PNW event, there was a similar message that was heard multiple times.

“I’m so glad I connected with you. I’ve felt so alone.”

In that short two-day event, the relationships which were formed are providing inspiration and collaborations. Attendees now have a reachable mentoring group who can relate to the challenges they face in telling their stories of farming and ranching. Witnessing these conversations was a reminder of why the AgChat Foundation exists. It serves as a connecting point for agvocates to share and support one another. To ask for or provide advice. It is also a reminder that even if you haven’t attended an event yet, there are other opportunities to connect with other agvocates. You are not alone. I challenge you to reach out to at least one of these channels this week and share with friends and family who are also agvocating:

We sincerely hope that the event provided the desired conduit to connect all of the attendees who are advocating for agriculture in the pacific northwest and beyond. You are the AgChat Foundation and the resources and network are at your finger tips.

NEW #AgBlog post from Success is Reason Enough | #AgChatPNW

Posted by Blogging for Agriculture on Tuesday, April 28, 2015



Jenny serves as the AgChat Foundation Executive Director while helping manage her family’s Jenny Schweigert - AgChat.org photo courtesy of Keiser Photography https://www.facebook.com/KeiserPhotographysmall hobby farm and jumping in when possible on her in-laws farm in central Illinois. In addition to AgChat.org, she can be found blogging at TheMagicFarmHouse where she shares about life on their farm while connecting with boy moms, food allergy parents, hunters and more. She loves deer hunting and avoids housekeeping when possible. You can connect with her on Facebook or tweet her on Twitter.

Powerful Voices Set Tone for ACF’s PNW Agvocacy Conference

In the news…

The AgChat Foundation will host the 2nd Annual Pacific Northwest Regional Agvocacy conference at 2014 Northwest Agvocacy Conference - learn more about the 2015 event at www.AgChat.org/PNWNorthern Quest Resort and Casino in Spokane, WA, April 27-28. Attendees who register before March 20th will receive an early bird discount. The Foundation, known for providing high-quality, agriculture advocacy training to farmers, ranchers, agribusiness professionals, media and educators, will once again deliver a selection of sessions focusing on strengthening online relationships while fostering offline communications with consumers.

The conference will open with motivational keynote speaker, mom and North Dakota agvocate, Katie Pinke. A household name for bridging common ground in even the most difficult conversations, Pinke will share her experiences, purpose, insight and set a tone for understanding on all sides of the kitchen table.

Attendees can expect to learn about tips, strategies and hacks for efficient advocating and utilizing community to share their farm and ranch stories via Instagram and Pinterest. Emphasis will be placed on building communication when interacting with detractors or facing crisis situations. Additionally, they will be provided hands-on training for blogging, Twitter and other social media platforms. The event will offer the experience to network with fellow farmers, ranchers, mentors and advocates while also interacting with a consumer panel.

2014 Northwest Agvocacy Conference - learn more about the 2015 event at www.AgChat.org/PNWThe event will provide the tools which will equip all to advocate for agriculture. Keynote speaker Michele Payn-Knoper, ACF board member and author of ‘No More Food Fights,’ will close by inspiring and infusing the audience with a passion for telling the story of agriculture.

“Farmers and ranchers in the pacific northwest and all across the U.S., have a unique story to tell and we are the only ones who can tell it accurately and authentically. Attending an AgChat Foundation event will provide purpose, tools and a network for successfully communicating with consumers,” says AgChat Foundation Vice-President, Marie Bowers of Harrisburg, OR.

A complete schedule of events is available at AgChat.org/PNW and AgChatPNW.Eventbrite.com

Sponsorship opportunities will be available until mid-March. Inquiries should be sent to Jenny Schweigert, Executive Director by emailing execdir@agchat.org.

Go Social in Spokane! Register for ACF’s 2nd Annual Agvocacy Conference

The AgChat Foundation will host the 2nd Annual Pacific Northwest Regional Agvocacy conference in Spokane, WA, April 27-28, 2015. The Foundation, known for providing high-quality, agriculture advocacy training to farmers and ranchers across the globe, will once again deliver a diverse selection of sessions focusing on strengthening online relationships while fostering offline communications with consumers.
Attendees of the 2013 AgChat Foundation conference in Portland, OR, gather outside Portland's urban farm. www.AgChat.org

Since the inception of the Foundation in 2010, the mission has been to provide training to as many U.S. regions as possible. Therefore, no two trainings have been repeated in a region. However, due to positive feedback and requests received following the success of last year’s event, farmers and ranchers from the pacific northwest will again have the opportunity to learn from top agvocacy experts.

In 2014, Datassentials and Bayer CropScience conducted a study which concluded that 94% of American consumers would like to speak with a farmer or rancher. The same study indicated that 36% of the population trusts farmers and ranchers more than scientists, nutritionists, government agencies, companies engaged in farming or agriculture, even social media contacts outside agriculture. As the number of farmers and ranchers sharing their story grows, so will the success connections from field to fork.

“Farmers and ranchers, in the pacific northwest and all across the U.S., have a unique story to tell and we are the only ones who can tell it accurately and authentically,” says AgChat Foundation Vice-President, Marie Bowers of Harrisburg, OR.

Registration will open on Monday, February 9th with a limited-time early bird rate of $89 for farmers and ranchers; agribusiness professionals with have an opportunity to register at a discounted rate of $145.

For information pertaining to sponsorship opportunities, contact Executive Director Jenny Schweigert at execdir@agchat.org.