Social Media Connects Ag Producers to Consumers

To some the keyboard might seem like it doesn't have a place in the field or pasture, but Nebraska ag leaders say that's not true.

"We want consumers to know that there are people just like them, good people who are producing their food, people who feed that same food to their families," said Cheryl Stubbendieck, Nebraska Farm Bureau Vice President of Public Relations. "Who can tell that story better than a farmer or rancher?"

Putting a face on ag through social media tools was a topic at this year's Nebraska Farm Bureau convention in Kearney. Officials say that connection can have a big influence on consumer choices.

"Social media is a way for our farmers and ranchers to connect one-to-one with consumers and answer the questions and concerns that homemaker or mother has," said Stubbendieck.

One speaker says getting connected to consumers is as easy as starting a Twitter or Facebook account. Then all producers need to do is start sharing.

"There's less than 2% of us in the United States today that are directly involved in production agriculture, and so I think it's really important for that 2% to find a common ground and meet in the middle and start introducing who we are and what we do in food production and social media is where to do that at," said Amanda Radke, a South Dakota rancher and freelance writer for BEEF Magazine.

Radke says smart phones are making it easier to incorporate social media updates into the chore list.

"Another thing I like to do with YouTube especially is prepare recipes because no one can prepare beef better than a rancher herself," she said. "I like to show my tips and tricks, favorite cuts, favorite ways to prepare that and hope to inspire people to go out and do it themselves."

Radke says producers shouldn't assume everyone knows what happens day-to-day on a family farm since today's consumers are often three generations removed from the family operation.

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