Farmers Making Use of Social Media

Social media is powerful, but this isn’t news to the agriculture industry.

A recent study about how farmers use media found that 42% of farmers who use Facebook and Twitter are using it every day. Whether sharing personal stories or using the sites as news sources, farmers are making their presence known online.

YouTube is the most popular social media platform for agriculture professionals. Of the 51% of farmers that use the site, 60% seek out general news, 58% tune in for music, and 56% enjoy educational or how-to videos. Farmers are more likely to be found on social media in the early morning hours or in the evening.

One agvocate, Dr. Channa Prakash, took home the Borlaug CAST Communication Award at the World Food Prize for his use of social media to share agriculture facts. He manages a reputable Twitter account under the name of @agbioworld and focuses his message on the technical and societal issues of agricultural biotechnology.

“You’ll be surprised as to how quickly you’ll become well known or popular in a way,” Prakash said. “It depends on the messaging, your passion, and your knowledge of the issues.”

He engages his 5,500-plus followers by sharing relevant stories, memes, and infographics. With a bit of wit, he has created a voice for his platform and engages his followers by speaking candidly about GMOs, agricultural science, and global agriculture issues.

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Here are some tips from social media guru Prakash, himself:
1. Jump right into it! Begin posting about what concerns and excites you.
2. Begin developing a like-minded audience.
3. Take note of what issues consistently come up.
4. Create a hashtag to help others connect to your platform.
5. Enjoy popularity.  

It’s clear that this medium can be effectively used to spread stories and information about the agriculture industry. Whenever you prefer, share your personal story and perspective through widely used social media platforms.

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