I don’t live on a farm anymore, haven’t for over 40 years. I am an Agnerd though.
I live in rural Iowa. I work as a Chamber director and its behooves me to be knowledgeable about agriculture. I actual think it would serve all people to become some sort of an agnerd. Do you know where your food comes from? Do you understand the importance of sustainability? Are you knowledgeable on GMO’s and biotech crop protection, animal welfare, antibiotics and hormones? Who do you go to get the information about these topics? Are you hearing the Agnerds on these subjects?
Learning to become an Agnerd is easier than you think. There are several ways you can stay in touch with what is going on. Let’s break a few of them down.
– Follow twitter peeps like: @agchat, @dairycarrie @lathamseeds @fblj @spudmd @beckymccray @magicmama @Al_Winmill @kasperdairy @slowmoneyfarm @AR_ranchhand @natejtaylor @MNgobblegal
– Go to www.tweetchat.com and sign in to twitter and follow #agchat They actually meet live online on Tuesday night at 7 pm CST. You can still go to tweetchat then and participate!
– Visit this Pinterest link and see what AgNerds around the US are posting. There are lots of pictures, infographics, links to ag sites.
– Smallbizsurvival talks about business and agriculture (farming is a business after all). Becky McCray started this site to share information about living in a rural area and being a part of a small town. She owns a liquor store, cattle ranch and speaks all over the US about being rural.
– Attend conferences like #acfr13. This is the Agriculture Conference First Regional 2013 conference. There will be more of these around the United States. The AgChat national conference attendance demanded that smaller regional conferences be made available. You can also attend local 140 Character Conferences/State of Now (warning: I curate and organize the Iowa one so I’m certainly partial). They usually have a nice Ag component.
– Visit websites like www.findourcommonground.com This one is good for giving you straight answers.
– Talk to farmers. If you live in the country, it’s easier to do. Just reach out to your local Farm Bureau and ask them when one of the speakers from Farm Bureau Corp is coming to speak. Is there a local farmer on their list? Visit the local farmers market and get some information from them. But don’t forget to talk to the agvocates too – Visit with @dairycarrie about her Dairy Farm (www.dairycarrie.com) Find Katie Pinke of North Dakota (http://www.thepinkepost.com) and search out Val Plagge in Iowa (http://cornbeanspigskids.blogspot.com) . Let’s not forget Larry Sailer and Shannon Latham of Iowa (http://www.thefieldposition.com/tag/larry-sailer/)
Much of this information was gained by attending the #acfr13 conference in Rochester, MN. I visited with attendees, attended the breakout sessions, took copious notes and am sharing it with you. Can you recommend some other ways to become an AgNerd?