Today’s #AgChat is special. Today, #AgChat celebrates it’s first anniversary. This is a big milestone, considering how quickly social media trends can disperse. While I wasn’t around at the conception of the idea, I’m heavily involved now. And even if I haven’t been here for the whole year, my ag-in-social-media journey has been a great one. So, here’s my social media/agriculture journey, in a nutshell.
It started with a lecture in a Technology and Law class. We talked about Twitter. I hadn’t even heard about it before. My professor showed us his Twitter profile, and I didn’t think twice about it. About a month later, my boss told me he’d been doing some work on Twitter. Now, my boss at my “back home” job (when I’m not here at school) is my hero. He’s my mentor.
So, of course I joined Twitter when I found out he thought it was a good tool!
Initially, I stayed within the nutrition circles, since that’s what my “back home” job entails. Then, I spread out, and started really feeling for my passions. I ran into the ag folks and something clicked. They were welcoming, friendly, honest, and seemed enthusiastic to engage in conversation with me. I’d had an interest in agriculture and come from a former-farming family, so I dove right in.
I guess you could say I’d found my “Twitter home.”
In the past, I’d done some school-projects-turned-freelance-writing for our county’s Farm Bureau newspaper. I decided to bring the social media topic home. I hunted down some of the big names: Tricia Braid Terry (@agchick), Mike Haley (@farmerhaley) and Ray Prock, Jr. (RayLinDairy) to do interviews. I met with Tricia in person and Mike and Ray did their interviews via email.
That opened the flood gates for further interaction, and expansion. The act of writing the article dug me deeper into the Twitter activity, which then caused me to take note of other things. Facebook fan pages, blogs, Twitter tools…these things were all getting the good word out about ag.
In just a short matter of time, my involvement in the social media/agriculture movement skyrocketed. I now participate in discussions and interaction across several Facebook pages, and even started a group for “current, future, and past college students” to come together and share ideas for supporting American agriculture. (You can see it here.) Oh, I suppose this blog can also be considered a result of networking and passion, both made possible through this social media monster.
In the last year, social media has done a lot for agriculture. It’s even brought about the birth of a not-for-profit foundation to help farmers start their social media outreach journey! (More information here.) It’s started to go deeper than just the outreach for me, though. While that is the ultimate mission, the friends, connections, and opportunities I’d come across because of this growing online community.
I guess, for me, the birthday of AgChat is a day to reflect on how much I’ve gained from this social media experience. How are you celebrating the first birthday?