A year ago today, something happened that would change the way I viewed the Internet. I wasn’t directly a part of it, but it stirred something up that built momentum into what we now consider the “agvocacy” movement.
One year ago today, Twitter mooed.
And that mooing is what brought me into this whole thing.
You see, I joined Twitter at the recommendation of both my boss and a professor. I figured I’d get on, follow a few people who had something decent to say, then let my Twitter existence melt back into oblivion when the novelty wore off.
Nope. I found the farmers. In specific, I found @FarmerHaley. Then @RayLinDairy. I believe I started connecting with them one by one, until I was following @JeffFowle and @agchick and @GilmerDairy and so many others. I loved what they said, but more than anything, I liked the way I was welcomed in. Granted, most of the “big names” had a lot fewer followers then, but the fact that they willingly engaged with you when you tried to communicate with them made a huge difference.
I was invited to write a piece for a local Farm Bureau newspaper. What did I write it on? “E-griculture.” (At the time, “agvocacy” wasn’t quite completely coined, so I went with something a bit cheesier and more obvious.) I got in contact with Mike (@FarmerHaley) and Ray (@RayLinDairy) via e-mail and met with Tricia (@agchick) in person to talk about the use of Twitter for agricultural advocacy.
As I did interviews and research, the article turned from being just Twitter in general, to being mainly focused on the day Twitter #moo-ed. This happened before I came around, but as I learned about the epic campaign spearheaded by Ray and Mike, the more I realized how dedicated these folks really were. I mean, two modest farmers decided they wanted to get #moo trending on Twitter to raise awareness of the poor outlook for the dairy industry.
Because Twitter mooed, I got hooked.
So, here I am, blogging, because two guys wanted to make a statement. They organized their community and got #moo to trend. When they took another stand, trending #oink to teach people that H1N1 does not mean pork is dangerous, I took part. In fact, I was out of town with friends and insisted on being at a computer to #oink.
I guess you could say the rest is history. I got sucked in and haven’t found a reason to leave. In fact, I could go so far as to say this all validated my goals to work in agriculture. Now that ag is on the Internet, two of my greatest passions have combined! So, thanks to #moo, you guys are stuck with me.
Want to know one of my favorite things about #moo? It happened on Mike’s 29th birthday. That’s one heck of a birthday party. If #moo happened exactly one year ago today, that must mean that today is Mike’s 30th birthday. Happy birthday, Mike Haley! Enjoy your day, and thanks for being one of the founders of online agvocacy as we know it.