Friday, August 26, 2011

AgChat Foundation Conference #ACFC11- Pt. 2

After all the touristy fun I told you about in Part 1 of this post, it was time to get down to business. The conference centered around the theme "Advocating Beyond the Choir," and offered speakers, sessions, and exercises all geared towards sharing your story with the people who really need to hear it.

A whole lot of agvocates. Photo by Chuck Zimmerman.
We conversed with a mommy blogger panel about how they make safe food choices for their families. We listened to people currently working in the business of communication in agriculture as they shared some solid gold tips and advice. We learned about Twitter, Facebook, and blogging as tools for telling our stories. We live tweeted the entire thing with the hashtag #ACFC11.

My top ten takeaways from #ACFC11

1. People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care, via Jeff Fowle. Incredibly important message to those in the business of raising food.

These "I Heart Alberta Beef" keyfobs were my swapmeet item. I swapped for rare Dr.Pepper, Arkansas rice, and some awesome Animal Ag Alliance bumper stickers. Read more about the swap meet on Ryan Goodman's blog.
2. North America has an amazing variety of agricultural products and practices. 

3. Agriculture needs to quit the "in-fighting." We are all doing what works best for us as individuals, our families, and our operations. The only change will come from woking together.

4. My Twitter friends are even more amazing, hilarious, and funny in real life.

5. I absolutely, without a doubt, want an education and career in agriculture. Specifically in communicating our stories.

Getting to know eachother with an icebreaker involving balls of yarn.
Photo by Chuck Zimmerman.

6. Your ROI (return on investment) from blogging and involvement with social media can come in a variety of ways. For me, getting a foot in the door for agriculture communications, building a trusted network, and maybe even landing a job thanks to my social media involvement will be my ROI.

7. Consumers, for the most part, are not doubting our ability to grow quality food. They just want reliable information to make them feel safe about the food they're eating.

8. I love travelling. I hope I can find a job one day that involves a lot of travel and meeting new people.

9. There is nothing more valuable than in-person connections and relationships. Social media is a great way to build upon ad even create these, but shouldn't become a substitute.

10. I would love to attend #ACFC12. 

If you were also at the conference, I'd love to hear your top takeaways from the conference!


  1. You forgot to put, "Never leave your computer open in a room of your Internet friends, who may or may not be drinking."

    That should be #11.

  2. Also, you are a complete sweetheart and it was a pleasure to (finally) meet you! Best wishes in all you do!

    (Don't go playing any cornhole without knowing all the rules, though!)

  3. Sounds like a great time Rosie .. might just try and get there myself next year !

  4. Agreed, Kelly. I now have a lock on my iPhone for that very reason. It was great to meet you too! I appreciate the lesson in cornhole- knowing the rules has saved a considerable amount of future confusion.

    Jen, I highly suggest you do! It was a great conference that anyone involved in agriculture could appreciate.

  5. I missed out this year and after reading your post i am really determined i'm gonna be there next year!!!

    Thanks for sharing