futurefarmers“Farmers connecting via social media is important. What barriers do you have to participate? How can we encourage farmers to connect?,” I asked on #agchatoz, a Twitter conversation centred around agriculture.

The answers came thick and fast.

First up, came the barriers.
There is a perception that social media is for kids, piped up @ausbenred, @maesy5 and @BeckerUnderwood.

Lack of skills, time and fear of technology was often repeated. @FleurAnderson said that she often hears, “Twitter is time consuming.” She wondered, “Perhaps knowledge on tech and tools to make it effective need to be communicated.”

Internet connectivity is also an issue. @AlisonFairleigh said, “[she] wouldn’t be able to participate if not for satellite broadband.” Mobile coverage is even worse. She states, “Many farmers work in areas without mobile connection. No use for smart phones in this case :(”

Not understanding the benefits of participating was a key theme. @campfirecoach said that many farmers do not understand how “SM [social media] can positively influence their industry and community”. @fleuranderson and @ausbenred saw a need to show case studies of value earned, like for business development.

But it’s not all doom and gloom.

@briannacasey1 hopes that the “NBN will help some who are struggling with mobile and broadband coverage”. And @NationalFarmers is “looking into options to run SM [social media] workshops for farmers w [with] @agchatoz & members.”

Actually, the future looks bright.

“Best thing I’ve seen recently was @nswfarmers #qanda session. 350 mostly old school farmers watched power of SM [social media] in real time,” said @briannacasey1.

So with training and internet connectivity being addressed in the future, let’s break the barrier of perception. How does the conversation online benefit your personal or business life?

I’ll be posting soon.

If you’re a farmer/producer and would like to tell your social media story, hit me up @flavourcrusader or email me at info AT flavourcrusader DOT com

cc image by goosmurf

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