Archive for April 21, 2010
A group of passionate & pumped-up young ag leaders headed to the Hill in Washington DC yesterday to discuss 5 key issues with their House reps & Senators. The 5 points were discussed and agreed upon by Agriculture’s Promise attendees on Monday. So what did we want our politicians to know?
1. Congress and USDA should support organizations that tell agriculture’s story.
Why is it important?
- The average age of the American farmer increases every year. Encouraging a younger generation of farmers to start producing food and fiber for America will be vital to the future of our country.
- The American consumer wants to know the source of their food. Educational programs are critical.
- Agriculture’s Promise participants feel that it is the young and beginning producer’s responsibility to carry the message to the public, but help is needed. The USDA “Know your Farmer, Know your Food” program has taken a great step in educating non-agricultural populations about food production.
- Provide public support for organizations that multiply the effectiveness of the young producer’s voice.
2. Public policy should balance agricultural production with environmental protection and energy independence.
Why is it important?
Farmers are the first environmentalists. Without a pristine environment, agricultural production will suffer. With the emphasis on energy independence, American agriculture can play vital role in providing resources. The beginning producer is creative n markets and production, but new product require funding and support.
- Regulations should be based on sound science rather than emotional-based assumptions.
- Policy should encourage incentive based programs to balance production with environmental issues.
- Policy should encourage support for agriculture’s role in the nation’s goal of energy independence.
3. Congress should assist new farmers as they transition into production agriculture.
Why is it important?
The next generation of farmers must be able to start producing without the heavy tasx burden that might force them to give up portions of their farm.
- Restructure the Federal Estate Tax to provide exemptions for agricultural land use.
- Continue new farmer and producer grants to help beginning farmers enter the workplace.
- Expand young farmer loans through FSA.
4. Policy should be designed to continue federal funding for agricultural-based education programs.
Why is it important?
The next generation must be equipped with the technical, scientific, and communications skills to produce and market tomorrow’s agricultural goods.
- Increase funding for Pre K – Ph.D for agricultural education.
- Continued Perkins Act funding for CTAE in the Department of Education
- Increase funding for land grant universities and cooperative extension
- Maintain agriculture research funding as a high priority
- Continue funding program where young farmers and agri-business professionals learn through networking and collaboration
5. Congress should adopt a Farm Bill that promotes the marketing of agricultural products.
Why is it important?
The next generation must be competitive in the world market.
- American agriculture’s standing must be protected by crop insurance and farm payment programs.
- The Farm Bill should support agricultural subsidies as well as food support programs. American agriculture needs support programs to maintain global competitiveness.
If you attended Agriculture’s Promise over the last couple of days, you probably heard a lot of talk about NYFEA’s new social sites. While many of you said you were on Facebook, some of you had a few questions about Twitter & Ning. This blog post will cover the benefits of using Twitter for young farmers. Read on!
What can you do with Twitter?
Twitter’s gotten a bad rap as a site where people push out trivial information that no one cares about or listens to. In reality, Twitter offers a variety of valuable information for young farmers. For example, you can:
- Stay on top of the latest & greatest in agricultures. Agricultural journalists are all over Twitter and keep you up-to-date on the latest news in one place. Other Ag tweeps (Twitter + Peeps = Tweeps) post commentary alongside news or spotlight new technology for farmers. Find information to set you apart in interviews, internships, or in class, or use the information to strengthen your farm activities.
- Find jobs. Certain twitter profiles are dedicated entirely to agriculture jobs. Some companies also send out job postings on Twitter. Use Twitter to stay on top of job postings on a daily basis.
- Network. There are a lot of passionate, innovative, intelligent agriculture folks on Twitter. They’re friendly & they enjoy connecting with others. They also name networking as one of the most essential parts of breaking into the agricultural industry. Get to know them on Twitter, and they may just be your “foot in the door” down the road.
- Participate in #AgChat. AgChat is a weekly Twitter conversation that happens on Tuesday nights from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern Time. Over 200 agriculture professionals log on Twitter, search for the hashtag (or descriptive word or phrase that is added to Tweets to show what topic they fall under) #agchat, and wait for a moderator to ask questions about different issues in the industry. After each question, the ag professionals tweet their answers with the hashtag #agchat and participate in the conversation. This enhances networking, knowledge, and technical skills.
- Have fun! There are other interesting ways to use Twitter including following your favorite author or celebrity, tweeting interesting quotes or statistics, or just keeping up with your friends.
- Twitter is a microblogging social site that lets users post news, updates, questions, or thoughts in 140 characters or less. Users can follow interesting Tweeters and other Tweeters can follow you if they enjoy your posts.
- Tweets are public, so read what you’re going to post twice before sending it out on the Twitterverse. Don’t tweet anything you wouldn’t want an employer or your grandmother to see, because they can easily find it.
- To create a Twitter account, go to http://www.twitter.com and choose to sign up. They will ask for your first and last name and a username (which will become your personal Twitter URL address. For example, ours is http://www.twitter.com/NYFEA. There are options to add your location, website, and a short description of yourself as well.
- Twitter will then bring you to a categorized list of users so you can find interesting accounts to follow. You can also search for people you know if you’d like to follow them.
- You can customize your Twitter profile under the settings section. Change your background or upload your own photo as a background for a more customized look.
- To talk to someone else on Twitter, simply put @ before their username. If you wanted to send a post publicly to the NYFEA, you would add @NYFEA in front of your message. To find people who are talking to or about you, visit your “Mentions” page.
- To join a conversation on Twitter, use hashtags. Hashtags begin with # and are followed with a description of the topic. You’ll often see a lot of tweets from NYFEA under the hashtags #ag or #farmers.
- You can privately direct message Twitter followers that also follow you. To do this, click “Messages” and type their username into the “To” box.
- You can Retweet messages that you think others would find interesting. There are two ways to do this.
- The original way to retweet someone involves post RT @(their username) and then posting their original tweet. This lets your followers clearly know that you are the one retweeting them.
- Twitter also allows you to click the “Retweet” button under someone’s post. This posts their post on your page.
So there you go – Twitter basics. If you have any questions, feel free to comment on this blog post, write on our Facebook wall, start a discussion on Ning, or mention or message us on Twitter!
Check back tomorrow for the run-down on Ning!