Tech Tuesday

Social Media, What?

New Web tools are allowing farmers to tell their stories, and join in a national conversation. What about you?

You've probably heard some talk about social media in the last few months - and if not it's only because it hasn't reached you yet. Social media, at its simplest, is Web-based tools to interact with others - from Facebook to Twitter to YouTube. And there's a solid core of farmers that are taking to the tools.

In fact, these tools offer ways to interact with a range of groups. For example, Facebook could be a simple way to keep landowners you rent from updated on what's going on with your farm. They can visit your special farm page to see pictures, quick-note updates on what's going on and other information about your business. And that same page could be a starting point with prospective landowners with land for you to rent. You can even follow the Farm Progress Show at; or Husker Harvest Days at

Twitter, which is essentially a text message sent to "many" rather than to "one" is a 140-character tool to do quick updates anytime you feel like it. And if you have a smart phone - any brand and network will do - there is a mobile version that allows this too. Farm Futures Daily readers already know that Twitter is a great tool for keeping up with Arlan Suderman, just follow him at And he'll provide intraday information on the factors that impact market prices.

YouTube is an interesting place to see images of tractors stuck in the mud. Or other farm foibles. But farmers are using the tool to advocate for agriculture - or "agvocate" as many call it. For example, a simple, fun video shot by Will Gilmer, a Vernon, Ala., farmer from his smart phone has had near 20,000 views. You can see Water 'n Poo where he sings (yes sings) about how he uses his farm's manure to fertilize his farm.

This is a shortlist of examples to get you thinking about ways you could use these tools for your own farm. And if you have questions about this technology, you can learn more during the Farm Progress Show. We're holding a special Social Media VIP event on Tuesday, Aug. 31 and Wednesday, Sept. 1. Farm Progress has partnered with Slingshot by Raven to explore key issues on social media, ways to use the tools and answer your questions about this technology.

In addition, you can get an in-depth look at Slingshot, a combination of precision ag technologies that offer some pretty interesting advancements for the farm. All you have to do is register at the Hospitality Tent at 6th and Central, then attend either the Tuesday or Wednesday session in the VIP tent which is at the south end of sixth street, across from the show office. It's your opportunity to learn about some new farm tech tools you can put to work on your operation.

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