Cows, Sows, Plows and Social Media?

A recent ZimmPoll at AgWired, which is a great social media site that brings readers news from the world of agribusiness, asked, “Can farmers effectively reach out to consumers with social media?” I quickly voted, “Yes!”  I have had this strong opinion for years now.  What better tool to teach consumers that agriculture isn’t just about cows, sows and plows.

The results speak from themselves.  74% agreed that farmers could effectively utilize social media to seek consumers.  Check out the results for yourself and read some great comments from voters. 

So, what about the other 25% who voted no?  Why do they feel social media isn’t for the farmer?  I don’t have a specific answer, but I will say some might think most farmers either don’t have the technology or experience to fully utilize social media or are just too old.  According to the 2002 Censes of Agriculture, 50% of farmers are 55 years old or older.  Pingdom.com recently did a study on the average age of people using social networks.  The chart below shows the breakdown.

Is the older generation using social media?  Yes!  But, the majority of users are 25-54 years old.  Social media can bridge the gap between generations.

This response really got me thinking.  As agriculturalist we are continually fighting an uphill battle when it comes to educating consumers on where their food comes from and how it was raised or grown.  It seems in years past we have not got that job done.  Maybe we were just waiting for someone else to answer their questions or just didn’t have the means to get the word out.  But guess what…no more excuses!!  It’s all easy now with social media tools.  Any producer can market their business and products via Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. at the drop of the hat.  If my 80 year-old Facebook using grandpa can do it, then so can farmers from across the country.

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About My Life in 'The Hills'

I am a farmer, agriculture communicator and God lover. Follow along as I chronicle my life in my great-grandmas hills. Cattle, family, farming and everything in between.

Posted on September 28, 2011, in Agriculture, Social Media and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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