I Love Farmers… the #onthefarm twitter interview

My friend Nick started a twitter hashtag #onthefarm as a way to connect to the farm weekly.  This week he thought he’d take a break and let me do the interview.  I may want to steal the project from him totally now.  🙂  I had so incredibly much fun picking a topic, getting the folks lined up and knowing we could make a difference for the group of young people behind I Love Farmers, They Feed My Soul!

Scott Vernon (ag communications prof at Cal Poly) and Annalisa Clarke (one of the grad students he’s been working with) were online for an hour-long discussion about the group, what it is doing, how others can participate, etc.  And yes, they are making ag hip!  I love it! After an hour with these two, and the class of 27 students participating in the classroom…. well, you simply have to be energized for the future!

Be sure you follow the links we’ve built in.  That will help you access some of the info we were sharing.  No more delays, here’s an edited transcript of the #onthefarm for October 8, 2009!  (You can find this & other #onthefarm transcripts on Nick’s blog.)

JPlovesCOTTON:[email protected] hooo!!! I see you in the#onthefarm stream!

DrJSV:         About 25 minutes away from class starting here at Cal Poly #onthefarm

DrJSV:         Join me for a #onthefarm TweetChat at: http://tweetchat.com/room/onthefarm #onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     Our students are entering their ag comm classroom… in 15 min we’ll be talking to them about advocacy work#onthefarm follow the stream

JPlovesCOTTON:     easiest way to follow #onthefarm? Search columns in tewetdeck or seesmic or through tweetchat

JPlovesCOTTON:     On my clock, it says 11:15… hoping [email protected]&[email protected] here to join in for our interview on farm advocacy #onthefarm

DrJSV:         Good morning everyone! Class in session! #onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     Fantastic! Good morning class! Thanks for joining the #ag crowd on twitter today. Is Annalissa out there too? #onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     Let’s start asking Scott to tell us a little about himself. An introduction — connections to ag, education, passions, etc.  He can tweet a few things there – then tell us a bit about the folks in the classroom and others [email protected] #onthefarm

DrJSV:         Ag Comm Professor at Cal Poly. From a cow/calf ranch. Been teaching 25 years Teaching an upperdivision ag leadership class at the moment  #onthefarm

ilovefarmersorg:     Annalisa Clarke – Campaign manager for I Love Farmers…They Feed My Soul! #onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     Annalisa! Great to see you! Can you give me a tweet or two about your connections to ag, your background, etc?#onthefarm

DrJSV:         I’m teaching an upperdivision ag leadership class at this moment #onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     you had an ag connection to one of our shared heroes… right? Norman Borlaug? #onthefarm

DrJSV:         Did my graduate work at Texas A&M. Had Dr. Borlaug as a teacher #onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     The class you are in now… how many students grew up on a farm? #onthefarm

ilovefarmersorg:     Welcome to everyone! Excited to be here – Go Mustangs! #onthefarm

DrJSV:         6 out of 27 #onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     Are the students in the class all part of I love farmers — and should we call them members? #onthefarm

DrJSV:         Most are helping #onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     #onthefarm is interviewing the creators of ilovefarmers.org today. I hope others will enjoy watching and learning

JPlovesCOTTON:     and with that Annalisa, can you tell me how I love farmers started? and Scott maybe you can tweet about the goals? Those aren’t quick answers so take several tweets each #onthefarm

ilovefarmersorg:     I’m a FOOD LOVER! Cal Poly Alumn – slapped in the face with the reality of comm. disconnect in ag while working on Masters. #onthefarm

DrJSV:         Be the most recognizable image/brand supporting American family farmers and ranchers in the United States! #onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     And students…. we’d love one of you to snap a photo of the group! either twitpic it, or email it to me. JSV has contact info #onthefarm

DrJSV:         Our target demographic 14-24 year olds. Urban youth / rural youth #onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     if you aren’t familiar with the group, you may want to look at the http//www.ilovefarmers.org — but come back if you do : ) #onthefarm

DrJSV:         We want to be in places you don’t normally see an ag message. Cool, hip, on the edge. Not always politically correct#onthefarm

ilovefarmersorg:     ILF is a reaction and progressive campaign to create a trendy image of ag and communicate the message on ind to digital natives #onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     You are making ag hip? You have to tell us how & why. Take a few tweets and build it for us to understand#onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     For some of our audience, where is Cal Poly & what sort of area are you in. How much ag is around you?#onthefarm

DrJSV:         San Luis Obispo. Along the Central Coast of California. Between LA and SF Beautiful! Beaches! Wine! Surfing! Sunny! 70-80F #onthefarm

ilovefarmersorg:     1/2 way btwn SF and LA. Lots of ag in out community / specialty crops $650mln+ #onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     Annalisa, maybe U can tell us about people who initiated the program, reality slapped you, how many are joining in the slap back? #onthefarm

DrJSV:         Young people love ag but they don’t always have to LOOK like farmers. ILF is working to change stereotypes. #onthefarm

ilovefarmersorg:     1% feed 100% – huge disconnect from farm#onthefarm

DrJSV:         Lots of advocates for food and ag in the Next Genereation!#onthefarm

ilovefarmersorg:     Milk doesn’t come from the cooler. Some of the 99% can’t relate to a farm, tractor, animals before harvest.#onthefarm

DrJSV:         Changing the paradigm of the way ag communicates its message. Using integrated approach w/social media Web 1.0 AND Web 2.0 #onthefarm

ilovefarmersorg:     w/o appreciation we lose touch with our consumer. Any good “brand” studies its consumer and works to build a strong connection #onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     you have 27 students in the room & Annalisa…. on this chat directly. How many young people have you engaged & how? #onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     I think Annalisa must know several dairy farmers [email protected] likely watching. With that I’ll say #moo!#onthefarm

DrJSV:         13,000 plus as of last night! #onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     You have time… I want to see several tweets about how you guys are doing this. #onthefarm

DrJSV:         On Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and on the ground at events. #onthefarm

ilovefarmersorg:     Social Media, sporting the apparel, word-of-mouth! almost 13K on FB, almost 500 on twitter – not just aggies which is great! #onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     CONGRATS! Tell us about 13,000 joining you!#onthefarm

DrJSV:         We want to be at skateboard parks, surf events, concerts, schools, tattoo parlors! #onthefarm

ilovefarmersorg:     Branding and image recognition. Daily posting relating ag to our own lives. “dumbing down ag” to those questioning it’s validity. #onthefarm

DrJSV:         When we started we mobilized an army of young ppl using what THEY know…social media. Old ppl in ag didn’t (don’t). They do now #onthefarm

ilovefarmersorg:     Industry- huge roll in sharing ILF. With support financially and in-kind from industry we will bring ILF to its full potential! #onthefarm

ilovefarmersorg:     ROI (in $) not so easy to grasp with social media#onthefarm

DrJSV:         ILF has gone viral in many ways! www.ilovefarmers.org #onthefarm

ilovefarmersorg:     Relationships and “following” – easy to measure and track with social media! #onthefarm

DrJSV:         Still could use financial support. Our passion is deep, our pockets shallow! #onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     Scott… tell me about the tattoo parlors… that’s not everyday farm talk. How’s that help a farmer in Iowa?#onthefarm

ilovefarmersorg:     No and we know it’s not! KIDS talk this way that’s why we’re speaking their language! #onthefarm

DrJSV:         Tattoo parlors? Everyone eats. Just a unique way to start a “conversation” about ag. Don’t expect to see farmers in a tat parlor? #onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     You are getting ahead of me Scott… We certainly want to talk about resourcing. But I think this does help the Iowa farmer. #onthefarm

DrJSV:         Shock and awe baby! #onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     I want them to see the impact crosses from young hip to others. #onthefarm

DrJSV:         Old ag too conservative sometimes (most the time). My opinion. #onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     The campaign really is a proactive, positive way to get young people to show their support of ag, much like they do for bands! #onthefarm

ilovefarmersorg:     We are utilizing many of the strategies that have made our adversaries so powerful! #onthefarm

DrJSV:         I see (live) with the next generation and they are awesome, creative and ready to be leaders! #onthefarm

DrJSV:         We have a bunch of moms and grandmas following us as well. #onthefarm

DrJSV:         Dads and grandpas too! #onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:[email protected]: You won’t have too many disagree that old ag is behind from this crowd. We may be old but we’re on twitter! #onthefarm

ilovefarmersorg:     ILF will connect both sides – as long as both sides are willing to engage! I know we are… #onthefarm

DrJSV:         We can farm / ranch and have FUN in town too!#onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     Great point Annalisa! Critics of ag are very active online. You are helping their and by recruiting excitement!#onthefarm

DrJSV:         We’re shakin’ and bakin’ #onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     TOTALLY AGREE!!!!! [email protected]:: We can farm / ranch and have FUN in town too! #onthefarm

ilovefarmersorg:     Foodies, vegetarians, liberals, conservatives – we all gotta eat! #onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     So, how can people watching this interview get involved? #onthefarm

DrJSV:         We have “the media” at our fingertips now. Smartphones and computers! #onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     the Facebook group to check [email protected]: is http://bit.ly/1OIPtt — should people get there? What do you offer up? #onthefarm

ilovefarmersorg:     Participate in conversation and bring it into your community. Talk outside of the ag circle! Wear the shirts – sport your pride! #onthefarm

DrJSV:         Join our Facebook group. Donate. Buy cool ILF gear, stickers. And, get connected www.ilovefarmers.org. #onthefarm

DrJSV:         Lots of farmers are coming to the party with Blogs, twitter accts, Facebook groups. GET A VOICE AND USE IT! #onthefarm

ilovefarmersorg:     Share your thoughts, experiences “straight from the horses mouth” #onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     Someone in the room has sent me photos…. but my blackberry is holding them hostage it seems #onthefarm

ilovefarmersorg:     What do you do off-farm? You many be involved in ag, but what else? #onthefarm

DrJSV:         YouTube is useful as well. Create content. #onthefarm

ilovefarmersorg:     Photos, videos – we want to see young people in ag! the faces of the next generation that feeds the world – WITH STYLE! #onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     Great pts. We have a lot of people here who are#agvocates. There were some other ideas to directly assist your group right? #onthefarm

DrJSV:         Change requires and open mind! Students are ready to engage! #onthefarm

DrJSV:         The faces of the next generation may have more piercings, colorful hair, tats than the last generation. That is ok. Right?#onthefarm

ilovefarmersorg:     Sponsor a billboard! Bulk shirt orders for cause marketing! Website sponsor – we can be creative! Decal on every trk in ur fleet! #onthefarm

ilovefarmersorg:     Sponsor ILF ambassadors to attend your industry event! #onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     We talked about a few things you’d like to do but financial limitations hold you back. Can you share some of those ideas? #onthefarm

DrJSV:         Easier when said from the West Coast. We realize everyone won’t agree. We deal in a different reality out here. Crazy people!#onthefarm

DrJSV:         Yes. Lots of ideas. Amazing how expensive it is to execute.#onthefarm

ilovefarmersorg:     We may be young and we may look a little different – but we love agriculture! #onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     Great ideas Annalisa! Your read my mind! I made a donation through the website. Others can do the same. (also bought tshirts :) #onthefarm

ilovefarmersorg:     We are marketing ag to the masses! #onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     what’s up next for you guys? What’s I Love Farmers have coming in the next month or so? #onthefarm

DrJSV:         But we have generated a “million dollar buz” with very few dollars. We have been creative. #onthefarm

ilovefarmersorg:[email protected]: THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!#onthefarm

DrJSV:         Think what this would cost if a PR firm was doing it!#onthefarm

ilovefarmersorg:     Michael Pollan will be speaking at Cal Poly#onthefarm

DrJSV:         He’s here on Thursday, Oct 15 at Cal Poly. ILF will be there in a big way. I’m moderating a conversation with him and others Should be interesting! #onthefarm

ilovefarmersorg:     ILF will be bring people there virtually – via twitter, tweetchat, facebook updates, videos, photos! #onthefarm

DrJSV:         ILF will TWEET Live from the event. Pictures and video will follow. #onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     Here’s a pic from our class filled with ag for the future!!! I love farmers, they feed my soul! http://twitpic.com/kq7br

JPlovesCOTTON:     How long has the program been going? Where do you see if going next? #onthefarm

ilovefarmersorg:     Share your FB status with us and invite ALL your friends to join I Love Farmers…They Feed My Soul! #onthefarm

DrJSV:         We started in late April / May of last year. Next we want to dominate the world. j/k #onthefarm

ilovefarmersorg:[email protected]: Looks like it’s early!#onthefarm

DrJSV:         With the start of school we will see a new energy come to the campaign! Lots of new faces. #onthefarm

DrJSV:         Got some hot new faces coming to the site soon. Maybe a calendar! #onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     You are more active on FB now, do you think we’ll be able to help you step up the twitter presence with this chat?#onthefarm

ilovefarmersorg:     Twitter, Tweetchat, FB updates at event. Create pre-event buz though all social networks. #onthefarm

DrJSV:         Absolutely! #onthefarm

DrJSV:         Also working with California Women for Ag on a cool project!#onthefarm

ilovefarmersorg:     Twitter participants are generally outside of our “target”. We want the biggest bang for $. More twitter to come…#onthefarm

DrJSV:         Cal Poly students have been leading the way, but it is not a class project or funded in any way by Cal Poly. We have cool kids!#onthefarm

DrJSV:         Looking for other university students to help as well!#onthefarm

ilovefarmersorg:     Twitter is powerful tool for industry. Fast way to spread vital info – need more engaged to receive info! #onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     Well, we can encourage other schools to raise the level — lots are participating already through FB, can get more visible #onthefarm

DrJSV:         But, ILF is not a club. It is a movement! #onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     Well, we’re at the hour. I’m looking forward to seeing your tweet stream next week.. hope to see more t-shirts, stickers, etc #onthefarm

ilovefarmersorg:     Schools can purchase banners for events too!#onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     Anything you want to leave us with as we close?#onthefarm

DrJSV:         Hey, any commercial printers out there want to donate printing for a poster to distribute nationwide? Hit me up.#onthefarm

DrJSV:         Thanks! You da bomb! #onthefarm

DrJSV:         See ya! #onthefarm

ilovefarmersorg:[email protected]: Thank you for facilitating this! Great to tweet with ya! #onthefarm

ilovefarmersorg:     I LOVE Farmers…They Feed My Soul!#onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:[email protected]: and I talked about an auction… I’m looking to make a 1 of the kind piece of pottery for the auction. YOU? #onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     Lots to think about, get excited about too. Stay in touch [email protected]@ilovefarmersorg:! They Rock! #onthefarm

JPlovesCOTTON:     Thanks Scott, Annalissa & the 27 of you watching! We appreciate what you are doing for the future of ag! It is a cool future! #onthefarm

About Janice Person

I'm Janice & this blog is about my passions -- photography, travel, agriculture & whatever else comes to mind. Putting all those things together is intriguing to me…. I can spend a lot of time soaking it up! It's almost always a colorful adventure!

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