This past fall semester I had to start this blog for my public relations in agriculture class at Missouri State University. I had never participated in blogging up until that point. It has been an overwhelming and inspiring experience. I have learned more about social media and the multiple outlets than I ever thought imaginable. Although sometimes frustrating I worked through the assignments and have learned a great deal about social media that will help me in the future. I really liked having the opportunity to listen to Dairy Carrie talk about her life and how she has used social media. It captured why we should all share our own stories and how telling our stories can show other people what really goes on in the agriculture industry. I also thought the point that all the agriculture people should not comment on all the negative things that get shared is also important. It just gets it available/easier accessible/easily seen for more people to see when it is the wrong message anyway. Blogging can be a very useful tool to tell our stories and make it where everybody can see. It allows us to market our products and show the true sides of our lifestyles. As Dairy Carrie mentioned, you do not just show all the good sides of farming… when you tell your story, you have to show all parts, even the bad. Social media tends to block stuff and shows what they think people want to see. I think blogging can help solve this problem and through Dairy Carrie it has obviously been proven to work. I also liked learning about the other media outlets that I did not really know much about, like twitter. I hear about other people having a twitter account, but have never ventured to try it. It helps when you learn about something that you had not known about. I thought it was challenging to keep having a blogging assignment due every week when there would be a ton of other stuff due. It definitely kept me on my toes to get it done. I also found it difficult at times to come up with a topic that I wanted to blog about. Another thing, having to comment on another blog every week gets challenging in itself… but I liked learning about other things that was happening in the agricultural industry. I appreciate the people that have chosen to follow my blog and liked or commented on my posts. Although I may be slower at blogging my next posts, I plan to continue blogging at a more relaxed pace.
Posts Tagged With: Social Media
This past week I was able to listen to Carrie Mess, also known as Dairy Carrie, speak about her life and how she uses her blog, Facebook, and Twitter to help or inform others. Carrie is the average Wisconsin dairy farmer, owning 100 milk cows on 300 acres. Although she did not grow up on a farm, she was not far from ag/farm fields. In high school she took ag science classes and she liked them. She said she was a horse girl and married into a dairy farm family. Carrie started her blog two years ago when she was not on the farm. She also started a Facebook page and jumped into twitter when she moved from her town job to the farm. At this time she also bought a business, which was an online business that sold lingerie, and thought the media sights would help promote business. She later sold that business. Carrie said she had found a bunch of farmers on Twitter which was a great resource to ask questions about farming. She was new to diary also used it to learn about cows. The Ag Chat group was also beginning to form on twitter. Carrie has been involved with Ag Chat ever since their 1st conference. Ag Chat shows how to use tools of social media to tell your story.
Carrie decided to launch her blog two years ago and has had 700,000 views so far, most of which was in the last year. The first big thing she did on her blog was host a hay drive due to the southwest drought. She sent 7 sent 7 semi loads of hay down to Oklahoma and Texas. Donations came in from around the globe, even bands such as Cross Canadian Ragweed and Randy Rogers participated.
She explained that you do not want to put a message out that can be taken the wrong way. Social media is no longer about controlling the conversation, but putting information out. Carrie talked about putting the story out that one of her heifers getting hurt and after days of working on her, she died. She told us that PR people do not always to show that side, but it is a part of the story and is something that can be connected too. She also shared that there was not any negative comments. Carrie said that you need to be polished, but not overly polished/smooth in her message. People want someone who is real and that they can connect with. Carrie has a lot of respect for people approach her and say they are not perfect either and continue to tell their stories.
Check out her blog: http://dairycarrie.com/
In my PR in Ag class last week Lynzee Glass from Ozarks Farm and Neighbor came in to talk to us about some of their struggles with social media. The Ozarks Farm and Neighbor is a farm and livestock oriented paper with an estimated 58,000 readers. The paper reaches out to farmers throughout southwest Missouri, eastern Oklahoma, and northwest Arkansas. Their average readers are males with an age range of 35-64. Their average reader also often runs a cow/calf operation on about 329 acres.
Some forms of social media that Ozarks Farm and Neighbor utilizes are their website, Facebook, and Twitter. They first introduced their website as they noticed that many people of younger generations utilized the internet to learn about new information and news more than picking up an actual paper. Through their website they put small excerpts from their paper so that people may want to read the whole story and then buy a paper. Today they now offer an online version of their paper as well as the actual paper itself. Then in 2009 they joined Facebook. This allowed them to be able to reach a wider audience and get noticed by more people. However, this was a slow to grow due to the lack of posts and the small staff being able to keep up with everything. However, in 2011 that changed to where there are now more and more posts being made. These posts can contain information from their paper as well as other information they want to inform their readers about. They can also give timelier news updates as that can be updated every day rather than every three weeks. Then in the summer of 2013 they joined Twitter. Twitter is another way for the Ozarks Farm and Neighbor to be able to reach other forms of people as well as organizations. Sometimes they tend to promote a few breed associations in their paper due to some of the farmers stories they write, so this gives them away to show the organizations what they do for them and be able to connect with them.
Social Media has not changed their way of business by a substantial amount as most of their readers still get the actual paper. However, it has helped them to be in front of the public and branch out to a younger generation of readers. It also helps in a tremendous about to be able to connect with associations and possibly be recognized through them as well. They are also able to give out more timely information through the social media route as well as get more timely feedback from their readers. In addition to this they can also post some things on these sites that may not be otherwise posted in their paper.
I love the country life and showing livestock. I couldn't see myself anywhere else.