So, AgChat Foundation, that silly little social media thing that has consumed far two many hours of my recent life (just ask my wife…) is turning two years old this week. It’s a good time to step back and ask: Have we accomplished anything? Has this effort been worth it? Outside of having far better insight into what farmers around the country may be having for breakfast, what good has been done?
As I sat and pondered these questions, the obvious things came to mind – helping farmers tell their stories, teaching folks how to use the dizzying array of tools and technologies out there, efforts towards reaching out to those outside of agriculture. All these have been good, successful, and most importantly ongoing efforts, but at the risk of being mis-understood, none of them are particularly noteworthy, unique, or special. There’s a large and growing number of organizations involved in many aspects of telling the farm story. As an officer of the AgChat Foundation, I look on them as partners, not competitors. There’s so much work to do, it’s exciting to see so many focused on sharing the story of the miracle of modern agriculture.
So what sets the AgChat Foundation apart? What makes us unique? The answer is clear, AgChat Foundation represents ALL of agriculture. You see, whether your a chicken, dairy, corn, or cotton farmer, whether you tap trees for maple syrup sold at your own retail store or grow soybeans for Japan. It doesn’t matter if your organic or conventional, very large or small and part time, whether you call yourself a farmer or have some other role in the ag industry, AgChat represents YOU! I believe it’s critical that as part of your plan for sustaining your business, you see the value in connecting, learning and sharing with those who depend on you for the food that sustains them. As a Foundation, we are focused on helping you make those connections through social media platforms, and I believe bringing together the diverse agriculture people involved in making that happen is our greatest strength.
No other organization works so diligently to represent all of agriculture, not just those that may chose to be members of our effort, not a specific commodity, region (well.. North America I suppose), production practice, or shoe color. No, AgChat Foundation at it’s core is about ALL of agriculture, and giving voices to every one of the individuals involved!
With that goal, I think we’ve succeeded tremendously, and I look forward to bringing even more of the ag community together, working together to share the story of the diversity of American agriculture far into the future. When you look at the task before us, I think it’s safe to say we’ve only just begun.