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#FarmersBreakTheInternet: Engaging With An Audience That Wants To ‘Know’ You

Are you a farmer, producer, food entrepreneur or enthusiast who’s not sure how to make the most of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram — or even how to get started? Have you dabbled in the dirt with blogging about your farming ventures, only to let the site languish for lack of cultivation (how many farming metaphors can I squeeze into one sentence)?

This workshop’s for you.

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Deb Dramby, of goat-loving fame and the market and education coordinator at Willowsford Farm, and I will be hosting a workshop about Social Media and Blogging for Farmers at the upcoming Future Harvest CASA Conference. Our session starts at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 15 at the College Park Marriott Hotel & Conference Center. You can register here for the conference, which begins with workshops Thursday and includes a sure-to-be-inspiring presentation by Spike Gjerde (read my feature on him here) on Friday night and two FULL days of learning on Friday and Saturday as well.

Turns out, our workshop is already filling up (hooray!) so sign up to attend it when you register. (Only 25(ish) slots left, I’m told.)

Deb — who you should go ahead and follow on Instagram, Twitter and the farm’s Facebook group page — and I got together to brainstorm yesterday over lunch at Gypsy Soul (which happens to be a conference sponsor!) in Fairfax’s Mosaic District. We ate and brainstormed… and ate… and we want to give you a little preview of what you will get out of our workshop.

First things first, if you’re a farmer (or food entrepreneur) who’s selling or interested in selling your products locally — your customer wants to know you. They even write it on bumper stickers and put it on their cars to tell other people to do the same thing: “Know Your Farmer.” But, if you live where the land is cheap enough to grow food and they live in the city, it’s not exactly easy to sit down to Sunday Supper every week.

Enter Social Media and Blogging. Deb and I want to show you how these tools can improve your bottom line(s) and your connections to your consumers. And we want to help you use them efficiently so you’re not standing in a field on your phone all the time (not that that’s ever been us).

Things you’ll learn at our workshop:

  • Why you should consider participating in these outlets
  • Where to start with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. — do you need to do it all?
  • How to better manage your time on these platforms
  • How these fit into a farmer’s day in real life
  • Unexpected benefits (i.e. reporters like me being able to find you!)
  • Pitfalls and lessons learned
  • Examples of social media and well-written content contributing to farmers’ bottom lines
  • How to use them to stay connected with customers year round
  • How to beef up your farm newsletter (hands-on critiquing)
  • Q&A for your burning #FarmersBreakTheInternet questions (including the answer to your What-is-this-#hashtag-thing? question)
  • And much more!

I hope this gives you more insight into what we hope to explore with the session. Feel free to share your own tips in the comments, on Twitter, etc. We’d love your input — and we’d love to see you there next week! Again, you can register here.

Cheers,
W

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