Posts tagged ‘Agriculture’

December 8, 2011

I’ve got questions. So do 70 million others.

With the permission of the guest blogger, I have posted her entire article on my blog. For the original please click here.

Generation Y has left quite the mark on our society – haven’t we?

For those of you who just clicked on the link above- yes, I just cited Wikipedia. And yes, I can do that because I am Generation Y. I’m independent. I make my own rules. Sometimes I follow the rules of those that I respect highly. Furthermore, I’m both “high-performance and high-maintenance,” as this USA Today article put it.

If you aren’t one of us, we’re easy to spot. Harry Potter was our Peter Pan. Eminem is our comeback kid and the names Blink-182, Britney Spears and Creed all have a special place in our hearts.

But that’s all in the past now. What does a Gen Yer like me do now that Britney’s back at the gym and Harry Potter has come to an end? I do just what everyone else does. I juggle a career in agriculture, a husband, a house, time at the gym, volunteering, spending time online and whatever else I need to do.

While I don’t spend every second online like some of our youngest Gen Yers, it’s a part of my life I couldn’t live without and it has hugely impacted my “agvocacy”, advocating for agriculture. Aside from agvocacy, it’s my direct link to answering questions, a lip-smacking recipe for dinner and a community of people who care about me. I explore topics that interest me on blogs, Google, Facebook and Twitter. I’m always looking for new ways, like Pinterest or Google+, to organize my overload of information. But to be honest, I don’t have the time to get to know technology or every topic as good as I should.

So what do I do? I rely on an online network of people I’ve built to provide me with trustworthy information. I seek out blogs that I trust, people on Twitter I’ve had meaningful conversations with, and webpages or Facebook pages that give me a glimpse into things I don’t understand.

Most recently, I became involved with a group of Rockin’ Rural Women that are on both Twitter andFacebook. There are about 800 of us nationwide. We come together to celebrate all things are rural- our livelihoods, our dreams, our values. Simply put, you don’t need to be a cowgirl but do you need to love dirt under your fingernails. Last week we had a chat on Facebook and Twitter about holiday stress and how we (as women) de-stress. It’s always a great time. Such good people. Such good prizes.

So what does this mean to you? To me? To agvocacy?

We need to consider taking time to break out of our everyday routines and to be a part of online relationships- not just conversations. The relationships need to be honest, transparent and meaningful, just like offline relationships are.

Twitter is a great place to do this type of online relationship building. While there millions of more people still on MySpace compared to those of us on Twitter, I have found Twitter to be a highly influential and engaged place to build relationships. Pick a TV show, hobby or interest you enjoy and follow the Twitter hashtag. Connect with a few new people every week and grow those relationships. This will allow you to go “beyond the choir” that you engage with daily or weekly and truly reach people outside of agriculture circle you already know well.

Do you blog? Find a new blog or two that shares a common interest or hobby and comment on those blogs. Establish a relationship with the blogger and invite them to read your blog. It’s amazing how these connections can go so deep.

I tend to find, when a non-agriculture person I have built a relationship with online has a question about food or farming, they often will think of me as a resource to go to with their question. It’s just one way my agvocacy impacts the online relationships I have built.

Take it from a Gen Yer, I understand it’s easy to get caught in our own world and our own circles- days are long, time is short, and even the lowest maintenance, “high-maintenance Gen Yer” has too many things to do. But there are 70 million of us Gen Yers out there and we all have questions about everything from fashion to food. Do you want to help answer?

Jodi Oleen is a thirty-something Floridian-turned-Kansan. She is recently married and works for a farmer led organization in The Little Apple. She has a undergraduate degree in Animal Science with an Equine Option and a Master’s degree in Food and Resource Economics, both from University of Florida. Find her on Twitter or Facebook, or check outmycousinisvegan.wordpress.com

September 12, 2011

Promote your business through my Blog

If you’re a business in the pet, horse, or agriculture industry -beef, dairy, swine, etc (four-legged industry) and want me blog about your store, farm, or pet/animal please let me know, I’m new to the area (Tri-Cities) and I would love to meet new individuals in this industry. I’m available blog using pictures, videos, and mentions on social media platforms to my audience.

This is my Marketing Persona a person who owns pets, horses, and works in agriculture (visit picture below)

Don’t forget to visit my Contact Page

©iStockphoto.com/David Mathies

September 6, 2011

Social media connect farmers with local customers

Group Picture of Conference

Glad that Social Media and Farming are connecting again, the recent conference that I attended in Nashville has been featured in USAToday.com here is a quote:

“Last week, the AgChat Foundation held a conference in downtown Nashville for farmers across the country — and spanning many farm types and sizes — to learn about improving social media skills. It’s the second conference held by the organization, and attendance doubled in size this year.”

 

To view the entire article, please click here:

Social media connect farmers with local customers

September 4, 2011

Equine Agvocate

Why do I always end up with my eyes closed

Brainstorming some advocacy ideas

I recently attended an Agvocacy 2.0 (Agvocating for Agriculture using Social media) conference in Nashville. I had the pleasure to interview with Chuck Zimmerman of ZimmComm New Media, LLC about being an agvocate for the equine and farming industry using Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn as a platform to spread the word.

Here is all the information on the interview, click Here

***You can listen to my interview with Chuck Zimmerman: Equine Agvocate: Valentina

August 31, 2011

Inbound Lead Nuturing: the Basics

This post is ideal for keeping a dialogue with potential customers, never forget that with all of the technology available there is always a human touch that is needed to close a sale, especially in this niche. This PPT provides case studies and 7 simple steps that make learning the concept pretty easy. The point is never forget to follow up and respond ASAP to inquires! These steps are ideal for a check list of things to do for the pet, horse, and agriculture community where the product is meant for a living thing, sometimes a “family” member to the customers.

August 24, 2011

Lessons Learned in Agri Marketing

I just came back from TN from the Agchat Foundation Conference called Agvocacy 2.0. It was a Social Media (SM) Training conference catered to Agricultural folks/farmers/ranchers, lessons include Blogging, Advanced Twitter/Facebook Tips, and Creating Impactful Images through Vblogging. Also, most importantly promoting Agvocacy! I really enjoyed meeting such amazing people who are making a difference in Agriculture and how food is brought to my plate.

Here I am brainstorming some ideas for my Blog with the tips learned at ACFC11:

Why do I always end up with my eyes closed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I would like to say that I learned the most from John Blue (& Mace Thornton) from Truffle Media such as how to create better videos for your blog with great insightful tips that are perfect for people like myself who have a great attention to detail. Also, John had great suggestions on advanced twitter tools to keep me following more active users.

I really enjoyed both beginner and advanced blogging suggestions from Janice Person, Katie Pinke, and Ryan Goodman. Overall they mentioned that it is all about telling a story to your fans about your lifestyle: the good and the hectic moments. They also touched upon google analytics and the pro/cons of WordPress and Blogger.

I also learned great apps for my iPad/MacBook Pro from Chuck Zimmerman and we talked about how: It’s Great to Be a Florida Gator!

I wish I had more time to speak with Mindy Jo Montgomery who wanted to chat but was heading out of the conference.

Here is the group picture (with my eyes open!)

August 16, 2011

Viral Marketing and World Wide Rave

This is an excellent post from one of my favorite authors, David Meermann Scott. He basically inspired me to be passionate social media marketing back in 2009. This PPT has innovative information to help boost your inbound content (ebooks, focus on your different buyer personas, etc). It is worth reading, please do so. You won’t regret it! I don’t want to give too much away this time, because I want you to be impressed with the tips he gives you. Imagine, if you could apply this information to your niche or industry, especially this great industry I cater my blog to, such as the four-legged industry which focuses on pets, horses, and other creatures that we love. I really appreciate those that think outside the box, like what David suggest on this PPT.

August 11, 2011

Social Media and Building Community

This PPT places emphasis on being humble in your community, focus on being a participant, not just the owner. You have to celebrate your customers and follow steps to strengthen your community. This can be easily applicable to the Equine, Pet, and Agriculture community where folks are educated and need to learn about what they’re giving their pets and/or now want to know where their meal comes from.

©iStockphoto.com/David Mathies

August 10, 2011

Crash Course in SEO

Information on Brand and Non-Branded content, online marketing tactics for generating conversations, Case studies that can be applied to the Equine, pet, and Agriculture Industry.

June 19, 2011

Wild Horses in Winds of Change Q&A with Film Maker

This movie is half-hour film that has just won two TULLY awards.

Background: Film maker Mara LeGrand, is an award winning film director, screenwriter, videographer, and photo-journalist. Mara’s PhD degree is in public and holistic health field. She started Skydancer Productions in 2006 with a goal to make films that  focuses on the health of the planet and its inhabitants. “Wild Horses in Winds of Change” is her third film where she produced, directed, wrote to mention a few of her tasks. To view her website on the film, please Click Here

Valentina: How would you describe your latest film to the equestrian community, Wild Horses in Winds of Change?

Mara LeGrand:
If people love horses they will be moved by this film, even if it challenges some of their belief systems.  I hope it inspires more people to love horses and become part of  a return of a horse culture.  I’m not part of the equestrian community now, but both my Granddad’s were true grit cowboys who claimed the best days of their lives were on the back of broncs. —  so a love for wild horses seems to be in my DNA.

Valentina: Is there a particular reason why you decided to do this film?

Mara LeGrand:
The film began following mustang adoption stories.  As I began researching the issue, I knew I wouldn’t be able to turn my back on the wild horse cause.

Valentina: What surprised you about completing this film?

Mara LeGrand:
I wasn’t sure I would make this documentary because I couldn’t wrap around any great solutions.  I like happy endings, not tragedies.  So, while I was researching and filming I was posting little youtube videos about adoptions, round ups, mustang trainings and so on. Two years into the project  I  put together a rough cut of about 20 minutes of the interviews and footage in an attempt to find funding.  About one month later, at a truly low point for me, I received an invitation for my film to have a world premiere at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood via ARTIVIST Film Festival.  They said they received the film by mysterious circumstances and had to google me to find my contact information.  An anonymous person sent them one of the rough cut screener copies circulating.  Since I’m a person who looks for signs of what direction I’m supposed to go next, I took this invitation as an important one since  ARTIVIST Film Festival honors films dedicated to art and activism.  They had screened my film as a “short” because it was only a 20 min cut at that point.  So when I asked how long my film was, they told me the max it could be for their programming was thirty minutes.  I had 300 hours of footage and interviews  that I imagined making a series with but since this offer was in front of me, I decided it was destined to be.

Valentina: Many individuals think that the thought of rounding up horses is a great idea, what are your thoughts?

Mara LeGrand:
Round ups by helicopter are brutal and inhumane. When I began the film I was under the impression that the BLM knew their  wild horses and hired horse specialists to manage them and cull the weak and injured.  Although my research and interviews were indicating otherwise – I needed to attend a round up, interview BLM employees and witness the look of fear and betrayal in the eyes of the horses as everything they knew and loved   were callously ripped from them.

What does it say about us as humans if we can’t protect these noble creature and honor their time-tested ability to survive?   The BLM  has  fenced these nomadic creatures into less and less land that is also allocated for high impact cattle grazing and because all natural  resources are tapped by multi-use extractive enterprises  and ranchers have rid the range of  natural predators, specifically the wolf, over – population can become a problem.  Ecologists who study the wild horses indicate that the horses breed more when they are stressed and manipulated.  This makes sense since these are wild animals of prey breed for the species to survive.  However, no matter how much land we give them and how much we leave them alone, eventually their will be too many to flourish on some ranges.  It would save a lot  of  suffering and money  if the BLM  actually cared enough to set up non-biased, long term studies, range by range to gather data.   University students and so many NGO’s would love to get involved but the BLM rejects offers that don’t fit their antiquated management directive.  Helicopter drives should be out-lawed, and a new paradigm for managing wild life, including wild horses in their natural habitat developed.
Valentina: Do you mind when others think that your movies are controversial such as your first move about local sustainable agriculture?

Mara LeGrand:
My first film Heart & Soil, about local agriculture isn’t in my opinion anywhere as controversial as the wild horse film.  Of course there is a lot wrong with the industrial food system but I chose to stay mostly on the sunny side of the fence and highlight the farmers dedicated to local agriculture.  Heart & Soil is a family film that is over-all upbeat.  Since I’ve been a vegetarian all my life I wondered why I was making a film that included animal husbandry – but as journalist I felt like the story unfolded as the animals were raised in optimally good circumstances and all were given a fast and painless death.  Most people will always choose to eat meat, so at the very least I wanted to raise awareness about the ethical responsibility meat eaters  should have toward the lives they raise for food and profit.

Compassion for animals is also a running theme in Wild Horses In Winds of Change but I did choose to delve into more controversial issues, because we are all responsible for America’s wild horses and I believe  if we collectively pressure the current cart before the horse attitude – we could save a lot of horses from brutal round ups and long term warehousing.  My goal is to attract more interest and advocacy, from the horse camp and non-horse camp.   Informing people  has the potential to lead to more sustainable solutions for the wild horses and for healthy range land ecology.   Library Journal describes my film  as beautifully rendered and very persuasive.  I consider that a great endorsement because my goal was to capture the beauty of the horses and persuade people to care and get involved.  There’s lots of reason to be angry and I have been, but anger isn’t beautiful, creative, compassionate, enlightened or conscious shifting and those are the qualities I believe we all need to solve the wild horse and for that matter the unwanted horse and rampant animal abuse issues.
Valentina: Describe this past year since filming Wild Horses in Winds of Change, have you been more involved with the mustangs?

Mara LeGrand:
I  am mystified by horses.  I love smelling them and feeling the warmth of their chi and heart beat.  I visit the mustangs whose adopter got me into the film.  I’ can send  a couple pics of them with me if you’re interested.  The buck skin colt was adopted first by Claude Steelman a well – known wild life photographer. (wildshots.com) , We then searched together for a companion for his colt.  He decided on a gelding  that was rescued from the Three Strikes ranch in Nebraska because he thought he would be a good riding horse and of course he liked his color and confirmation.  Cisco has suffered too much abuse and betrayal and likely has PTSD.  He easily spooks when he’s ridden but is a real sweetie as a companion.   I saw so many mustangs who didn’t live up to their naive owners expectations.  They’re passed, like juvenile delinquents  from one owner to another until eventually they end up on skid roe/ sale barn bound for slaughter.  Mustangs need to be trained by skillful, caring and experienced trainers and I didn’t want to make a film that inspired any joe to empty their piggy bank to adopt one.

Valentina: Do you love animals more than people?
Mara LeGrand:
It’s probably easier to love animals because they’re far less complicated and demanding than humans. I learn many lessons  from animals that I  try to  transfer to my relationships and acceptance of people.
Valentina: Do you have any philosophies that you live by?
Mara LeGrand:
I have many philosophies that guide me forward.  Making this film fell into one about not turning away a beggar at my door.  I grew up living in Turkey where beggars were common.  If a beggar, a stray animal or anyone in need asked for help from my parents, they were never turned away.  My siblings are also altruistic, each with our own sensibilities of what’s important to contribute to.
Valentina: You write lots of poetry, if you can wrote a poem about your life, what would you call it?

Mara LeGrand:
“No one needs a poet, but I , who without nature’s beauty could not breathe.”

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