Farming has seen many technological advances over the years. Irrigation systems, the plow, the cotton gin, the tractor, Facebook, Twitter. Yes, it's not just city folk who are using technologies to their advantage. Farmers all over are using social media to aid in the growing and selling of their produce and goods.
[link href="https://chythlookcommunications.com/food/news/a38054/have-you-tried-your-local-farmers-market/" target="_blank" link_updater_label="internal_full"]?
Farmers' markets are so early 2000's. These days, farmers are reaching out beyond their immediate, physical communities and into the online community. Ben Holtz, a 26-year-old avocado grower in California, launched
CaliforniaAvocadosDirect.com in January, as reported by The Signon San Diego. Through promotions on Facebook and Twitter, Ben promotes his wares. When he receives an order, he fills it right then, going straight from the computer out into the fields to pack the order. He has sold more than 100 boxes of the buttery green fruit to people all over the country — as far away as Vermont. The idea of purchasing produce online is not a new one. Large companies have been selling fruit baskets as gifts for years. But small, independent farmers have recently come to fully embrace the online community. And it could continue to grow. Michael Capone, a marketing professor at San Diego State, spoke to the Signon and compared the trend to winery's wine clubs, which have found much success in the direct-to-consumer mode of sales.
Ben is not the only farmer to find social media useful. Hop on Twitter and search for #AgChat. The center of "AgNerds," AgChat, which now has its own site, is a year-old weekly Twitter conversation in which farmers of all sizes together to discuss crops, tell their stories, compare with others, and help promote their wares and produce. Jeff Fowle, the president of the AgChat Foundation, has 33,000 followers on Twitter. "Increasingly, urbanites are tuning in to the rural lifestyle and talking directing to the folks raising their food," he told the AgChat blog. "We're working with farmers young and old, representing organic and conventional farms of all sizes. It's a diverse bunch with ranging levels of skills and stories. What they all have in common is a desire to connect with their urban counterparts." For the farmers, it's both a community to lean on and a means of marketing. For urbanites, Twitter can become a means of having a farmers' market in your own living room — complete with detailed information about every product.
There are many farmers worth following, too many to list here. So we'll ask you, what farmers do you follow?