This presentation by Carie Lewis, Director of Emerging Media, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), offers a great view in to how HSUS is strategic in its use of social media. While you may or may not like the HSUS, they do have a plan and know where they need to go. Everyone in agriculture needs to leverage this HSUS information to help advocate (aka agvocate) their agriculture, farm, and ranch story.
How can you utilize social media in agriculture? What steps should you take when general media portrays farming operations in a negative light? This webinar offers some guidance, tools, and resources to help. Webinar from Dairy Management Inc. and myDairyToolkit.com, December 14, 2011.
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Dr. Marty Strauss understands the issues consumers have in understanding food/food information. He also understand agricultures desires to help. Dr. Strauss offered how to better bridge the producer/consumer communications gap.
What does "free range" or "natural" mean in animal agriculture. In Australia there is a call formally put in place definition that will help consumers understand the differences and reduce marketing confusion.
The beef industry could face a crackdown from the consumer watchdog for using the word ''natural'' to describe its products in the wake of legal action against the chicken meat industry for using the term ''free to roam''.
Companies like McDonalds look to food animal industries and trade groups to clarity their product marketing so as to avoid consumer back lash.
Amongst agriculture communicators, many are familiar with webinars, online media consumption, and using a smart phone. However 62% feel they are beginners or have no expertise in search engine optimization (SEO). Additionally, 64% believe social media will be more important than email in the next several years, as a way to communicate with those in agriculture. This information is from a survey Truffle Media conducted in August 2011 (PDF).
What is Agri Tourisim and Urban Ag? Agri business professional continue to look for ways to generate revenue and keep relevant with their customers. For those that have unique businesses or whose core customers are city folks, agri-tourisim and urban agriculture is a way to connect and educate about agriculture.
The Center for Food Integrity published its 2011 Consumer Trust Research (PDF link). The top three priority goals driving consumer food choices include: Safe food, affordable food for me and my family, and nutritious food. It was noted that consumers distinguish between family farmers versus commercial farmers.
There is an inverse relationship between the perception of shared values and priorities for commercial farms. Consumers fear that commercial farms will put profit ahead of principle and therefore cut corners when it comes to other priority issues. As farms continue to change in size and scale we have to overcome that bias by more effectively demonstrating our commitment to the values and priorities of consumers.
The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance's Survey of Farmers, Ranchers, and Consumers suggests that 93% of farmers and ranchers believe consumer's perception of US modern farming practices are somewhat or not accurate at all. The survey also notes that consumers are firmly divided on the direction of modern agriculture.