I love technology and anything electronic, especially if it has a screen. Connect it to the Internet and we are nearing utopia.
I also love people. What really fascinates me is how we can relate to one another with our similarities, and yet, we can discover that we can relate to one another amongst our differences. Combine the world through the Internet and who knows what we can discover?
I also love what I do. Farming in southwest Nebraska has offered me and my family many rewarding challenges. Overcoming a drought, a couple of bad hailstorms and high input prices coupled with low crop prices can challenge your beliefs of your lifelong dream of being a tiny cog in the world of agriculture.
Combine all of this together and the big wide world suddenly can become smaller. I started a blog where I could share my view from the cab since that is where I spend a lot of my quality “alone time”. I also engaged in Twitter. I dubbed my handle as @tykerman1. And then, one warm summer day in July, my world suddenly grew a whole lot smaller.
CNN had contacted Chuck Zimmerman and asked if he knew of any farmers using social media. He had them contact me and they asked to do an article and, ultimately, a Skype interview from the farm. I saw it as my one shot to utilize my 15 minutes of fame and I took it! I was then labeled the Twittering farmer. You never know when an opportunity will present itself. Thanks to that interview, I was befriended by people all over the country, and all over the world.
What I love about Twitter is, it gives you the chance to be human and interact with anybody. For example, I have tweeted with U.S. congressmen, celebrities, world renowned tech reporters and thousands of people who I highly regard as friends.
And then, through a Twitter discussion, I challenged a friend that Jeff Pulver wouldn’t dare bring his #140conf to a small town. Never did I know he would. Thus was born #140confsmalltown in Hutchinson, Kansas. I travelled there and spoke about how Twitter and the real-time web has made the world a smaller place. After it was over, Jeff asked if I would come to New York and speak at the #140confNYC. How could I refuse?
Was I an agvocate? Yes. Was I just me being me? Yes. In my short span on this earth, what I find people look for in each other is genuineness. Am I being real? Am I someone others can relate too?
One of the venues that help bridge the gap from the rural community to the urban areas that consume our prodcts has been the valuable asset of the AgChat community and Agvocacy 2.0. AgChat has helped instill in the ag community the belief that there is an opportunity to bridge the gap from the farm to the plate.
Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in Agvocacy 2.0. I was amazed at the wealth of information and knowledge of those who wanted to share what they knew about modern technology. This conference helped show the many ways to reach out and connect with consumers and it far exceeded my expectations.
Welcome to my world! Care to join me? It’s not hard. You just need a willingness to share with others. Who knows, you might even gather a few new friends along the way.
Steve Tucker lives on the family farm with his wife and four kids in southwest Nebraska. He grows winter wheat, corn, millet and sunflowers. He also serves as the fire chief for his community and works as a part-time instructor with the Nebraska State Fire Marshal’s office.