Iowa farmers and those involved in the agriculture industry are invited to participate in a series of free, online training webinars to learn how to best use social media to engage in conversations with consumers about modern agriculture practices. Each session is one hour long and you can view and listen to the presentations via your home computer for free.
The first of the monthly webinar series was held Thursday, Jan. 20 at 10:30 a.m. This online session was the first in the 2011 Social Media Training program by the National Corn Growers Association. The training is sponsored by Pioneer Hi-Bred. The idea is to equip farmers on how to use the social media such as Facebook and Twitter to represent corn grower interests and counter misinformation being spread by some people regarding agriculture.
"Consumers are turning to social media to learn about modern agriculture," says Jay Lynch, an Iowa Corn Growers Association director and a farmer from Humboldt. "Not all of the information about agriculture that is being presented by the media or online to the public today is correct. However, by using the social media we in the Iowa agriculture industry can counter this misinformation by telling the real story behind how we raise the food that consumers eat."
Webinar presentations recorded, archived and available online
The Jan. 20 webinar addressed the goals of the series and why growers should engage in using social media. Presenters defined the objectives and reviewed the "return on investment" of engaging in social media and how it fits within the context of agriculture. Instructors also reviewed how it is being used successfully by others in the industry and showed participants how they can track their social media success.
Follow-up webinars are planned for Feb. 17, March 17, April 28, May 19, June 16, July 21, Aug. 18, Sept. 15, Oct. 20, Nov. 17 and Dec. 15. To register for the social media webinar in the future, visit www.ncga.com/socialmedia. If you missed the first session or miss a future session you can still view it on the NCGA site. The series is being conducted by The Vandiver Group, a strategic communications firm based in St. Louis and the webinar presentations will be recorded and available at NCGA's website.