Farmers using social media are beginning to connect with other farmers, consumers and those who are interested in how food is produced. The latest innovative method provides a way for farmers to use media tools such as Facebook and Twitter and even blogs. Facebook is a social networking site allowing users to share information, photos, links and more. Twitter connects users allowing them to share short posts. Blogs are websites that can be used by people to interact with each other and enter ph

Read more: How to Impact the World in 10 Minutes a Day

Five Free Tools to Successfully Cultivate your Social Media 
 
The use of social media tools is essential to marketing your business. Although this is not always an easy task, knowing which ones to use will help. There are a number of free tools available and understanding how they can work together will help you to decide what information is relevant and monitor your business effectively. Choosing the right social media tools, using them and figuring out which method is best for making sense of the content are three steps in the right direction. 

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From Suit to Skates: What business can learn from amateur athlete

Last year I had the opportunity to meet Kevin Jagger of Long Track Long Shot as a result of my friendship with his brother, Stephen Jagger.  Since this meeting I have taken every opportunity to support Kevin's journey on long track long shot, which included a great weekend in Vancouver, several twitter conversations, and numerous blog interactions.  After our first encounter, Kevin wrote a blog entitled "What an athlete can learn from a farmer." It was insightful, funny and written almost prior to my leaving his dorm room at U of C that morning (that’s another story).  I was impressed with the speed and efficiency by which he could collect his thoughts and put them into words and realized this is part of why following his journey would be so interesting.  Since this time I have been waiting to write a response; however, I realized I needed to learn more about Kevin before posting.  Almost a year later, I think I have learned enough to put my thoughts down in writing.

Read more: From Suit to Skates: What business can learn from amateur athlete

Train for Success

It sounds cliché, but cumulative training matters so much more than we realize in all areas of our lives.  What we often forget is that training is not just for our bodies to perform, but also for our minds and careers to succeed.  This concept was really brought back into my mind this past weekend while competing in the 24 hours of adrenalin mountain bike race and the Inman Connect the following week.

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Farmers are turning to new agriculture and social media tools for information, sharing ideas with each other and even the products they need. The best part – the apps can be used anywhere – even when the farmers are in the field. All it takes is a smart phone.  Android, Blackberry and iPhones are becoming as important as the farming equipment that is being taken into the fields.

Read more: How to Stay in the Feed

Riding toward the Storm

It is really interesting how rarely I take a step back to think about the decisions we make and understand what it says about my personality.  The other day while sitting a the cross road to begin my ride I was reminded how often I choose to take the route that provides the most challenge.

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Create your own success Aura

 

Success really is a state of mind more than anything else; hard work, dedication and knowledge are all contributing factors to success, but if you do not focus on helping and supporting others unselfishly, I do not think you can fully create an aura that attracts success. I was fortunate last weekend to spend some time with two people who radiate success as a result of helping others, and this post is just a few of my thoughts on how I think this is achieved and why I feel blessed to have friends like Jon and Nicole.

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Social media savvy farmers may seem like an odd mix however to me it makes perfect sense and in today’s post I want to explain why. Farmers are taking their message online via Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube and it is a message the general public is interested in.

It really is no secret to anyone in farming communities that the family farm and small grain operations (under 3000 acres) are on the endangered species list.   Most who have survived have taken off farm jobs to leverage a farm life and have been fortunate enough to have a father, or other family member help carry the workload in their absence.  Statistics Canada showed a -7.1 drop in the total number of farms from 2001 to 2006 (246,923 to 229,373) and I would venture to guess when the 2011 census numbers come out this trend will have continued from 2006-2011.  As of 2006 there where 684,260 farmers in Canada or 2.2% of the population.

Read more: Perfect Storm

Branding your farm business is one of the best forms of advertising that exists. Selecting a user name that identifies you when talking with others on social media sites is your personal brand that allows others to identify you and know when you are on the site. The names that are chosen are displayed next to your messages and very often they can be almost anything that is desired as long as it does not violate user policies.

Read more: Consistency is Key to Branding your Farm

What the hell happened?

Well what the hell happened between May 7 and June 23? God I wish I knew; it seems like a blur.  This really has been one crazy spring; however, I seem to finally be getting my feet back under me and just wanted to start posting again with what’s going on in my world.

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Farmers are not nearly as isolated from the rest of the world as they were in the past. With social media, such as Twitter, it is possible to get answers to questions, help with concerns and virtually any other advice needed. There are even discussions springing up that are focused on caring for the animals that live on the farms. One such discussion, AgChat, was founded by a British farmer, Michele Payn-Knoper. The idea for the discussion started when she went to Twitter to obtain advice about a Holstein dairy calf that was not weaning. The advice she got worked and now the discussion is ongoing every Tuesday night. Since its beginning in 2009, the discussion has grown to include ten countries with 10,000 people sharing and exchanging ideas about farming and other related issues.

Read more: Tractor Tweeting – The Rise of Social Media

Handy Apps for Productivity this Spring

The point of writing blogs is to document an opinion or to answer questions that are most frequently asked and in this post I will be doing both as i discuss the Apps I use the most. For simplicity I will just document if they are iPad, iPhone, or both in discussing the Apps and how I use them. I will leave it up to you to find your own uses but trust me after cleaning up and organizing my iPad earlier today I have learned a lot via trial and error. I also have a lot of fun games tools that I will save for a future post and keep the focus for this blog on productivity.

Read more: Handy Apps for Productivity this Spring