It has been said that everything is bigger in Texas. The AgChat Foundation's 2014 Cultivate & Connect conference to be held at the Radisson Hotel & Suites in beautiful downtown Austin, Texas, August 21-22, 2014, will be no exception. It will be the best and biggest AgChat conference to date!
Two Star Sponsors
One Star Sponsors
Day One - Thursday, August 21
Day One - Friday, August 22
Keynote: Thom Singer is our conference catalyst. Delivering impactful content with high energy.
#1: Austin-Women Infants and Children
We will be meeting with the director of the Austin WIC program, representative of the Sustainable Food Center, and possibly a couple WIC clients. In this "tour" you will be able to learn more about the WIC program, how WIC is working with farmers and farmers' markets, and hear from WIC clients. The goal of this "tour" is to get a deeper understanding of consumers who use these programs and how you as an Agvocate can reach out to them and connect through social media.
#2: Whole Foods-Lamar Flagship Store
"Tour" participants will be meeting with the Whole Food's Global Produce Purchasing team. You will be able to hear how grocery giant Whole Foods makes decisions on which companies and farmers to purchase from. You will be able to ask questions about their mission and get a deeper understanding for their customers. The goal of this "tour" is to get deeper understanding of the purchasing decisions made by a major grocery retailer. You will leave with ideas on how to communicate and connect with Whole Food's customers. Please note that no photography or video will be allowed at this location.
#3 Sustainable Food Policy Board
This board is the advisory body to the City Council and Travis County Commissioners' Court concerning the need to improve the availability of safe, nutritious, locally, and sustainably-grown food at reasonable prices for all residents, particularly those in need, by coordinating the relevant activities of city government, as well as non-profit organizations, and food and farming businesses. Food policy boards are becoming more popular, with over 100 across the United States. Learn how this board functions and how you as a farmer/rancher/ag industry person can get involved in your local food policy board.
#4 KOKE FM Tour with Rita Ballou
Blogger Rita Ballou took the Texas/Red Dirt Music Scene by storm in February 2010 with her controversial website rawhideandvelvet.com. Rita has been described as the “Perez Hilton of Texas Country music” and love her or hate her, she is always entertaining. Rita delivers a snarky, but fresh look on country music, celebrities, reality television and all things pop culture. The Rawhide and Velvet website is now not only considered a guilty pleasure must-read for over 50,000 music fans a month, but one of the most respected sources for Texas/Red Dirt information in the genre. Rita will give participants a quick tour of the radio studio and also lead a conversation on how to use social media to build your personal brand and find your niche.
What Chefs & Moms Really Say About the Food You Are Growing Panel Discussion with Mark Gale, Addie Broyles, Sam Hellman-Mass and Lindsay Chichester
What are people out side of agriculture saying about food and where it comes from? How does that conversation affect how people buy their food? This moderated panel with a chef, registered dietician, and mom will help you understand the conversations and issues.
Too Little Time, Too Many Activities. Help Me! with John Blue and Emily Zweber
In today’s fast-paced world of social media and agriculture advocacy, there is a never-ending list of ways you can share your story. Pair this with feeding livestock, planting or even picking your produce and it becomes overwhelming. This session will assist you in deciding which tasks are right for you, how to manage your time as well as tips and tricks for getting it all done. Join John Blue of Truffle Media and Emily Zweber of Zweber Farms as they share their real-life battles and solutions for efficiently telling the story of agriculture.
To the Choir & Beyond! with Nicole Small, Danielle Hayden and Taysha Reitzel
When you are absorbed in everything ag, it is difficult establishing a relationship with those outside of agriculture. Blogging and social media allow us to interact with “the choir” as well as those “Beyond.” Blogging buffs Nicole Small of Tales of a Kansas Farm Mom, Danielle Hayden of High Heels & Shotgun Shells & Taysha Reitzel of Dirt Road Charm each write about varying subject matter which appeals to an assortment of audiences. Utilizing different niches, they individually bring a wide variety of readers to their blogs. Collectively, they host the weekly Country Fair Blog Party which draws participants from all walks of life. Together, they will write a recipe of how you too, can attract readers and build relationships with those from beyond the choir.
Zoom Your Talk to the Next Level with Prezi presented by Laura Daniels
You always have the newest ap, there's a high tech GPS on your tractor, you can tweet in your sleep, and your using what for your presentations?…Power Point? Seriously, it's not 1997! It's time to start zooming with Prezi! All kidding aside, Prezi is a great program that offers many flexible, easy to learn benefits that will take your agriculture story telling presentations to the next level. Laura, aka 'Prezi Queen' will get you started with this web based presentation software. She will show you how to use your own photos to build a completely unique backdrop for your presentation. Laura will also introduce you to the 100's of creative free templates that are quick and easy in case you are short on time. You will leave the breakout with your first engaging Prezi safely stored at Prezi.com. In addition you will learn how this program can be used to lead visually interesting webinars, or self guided tours of your farm or almost anything. A link to a Prezi can be popped in anywhere! Be ready to be as impressive in person as you are online and start collecting those precious moments when you get to sing to the congregation, not the choir!
How Did Dairy Checkoff Go Digital with Don Schindler of sponsor Dairy Management, Inc.
Over the past eighteen months, the Dairy Checkoff has been undergoing a radical transformation. While the mission is still the same, the way we are protecting and promoting dairy products has changed dramatically. From building an open space environment with a digital newsroom to training over 3500 people in social media and digital communications, Dairy Management Inc., and its State and Region Staff are executing on our unified Consumer Confidence plan. In this session, Don Schindler, Senior Vice President of Digital Initiatives at DMI, Inc., be sharing the different pieces of the DMI digital communication strategy and give you an idea of where we are headed in the future.
Podcasting: Basics & Beyond with Ray Bowman of Farmstead Media
Want to start a podcast but don’t know where to begin? Maybe you’re podcasting now, but you want to ‘up your game’ a bit. We’ll take a look at the basic form, available forums and hardware/software to get you started or polish your signature sound. Let podcasting pro and radio broadcaster Ray Bowman, will show you the ropes and make a case for cultivating relationships via podcasting.
Walking Through the Basics & More of Farm and Ranch Photography with Jenn Zeller and Zach Hunnicutt
Are you new to capturing photos of your farm and ranch? Or, are you looking for some refreshing ideas? Join professional photographer Jenn Zeller and skilled photographer Zach Hunnicutt as they teach you how to use your DSL and Smartphone camera(s). In this session they will offer a variety of tips and tricks for beginners and experts alike and how to apply it all on your farm or ranch. This is a hands-on session which will take you on a walk through downtown Austin providing an opportunity to learn by doing. **Please be sure to have your camera or Smartphone ready and with you.**
Reaching Out & Thinking Through with Janice Person and Ellen Malloy **People's Choice Winner**
Polarization has become far too common in the the discussion of food and farm. How can two seemingly widely different perspectives move closer to each other? It takes real communications, a willingness to listen to different opinions. Chicago foodie Ellen Malloy & Monsanto's Janice Person had a long way to go to find common ground. What did they learn through the process that can help others in the social media space talking about food & agriculture? Don’t miss this must-see session as the answer to this question is revealed!
Cultivating, Collaborating, Connecting. Finding Your Voice in Social Media with Ed Nicholson and Jack Pate of sponsor Tyson Foods
Is Your Barn Door Open? with Margaret Fogarty of sponsor Farm Credit Services
Consumers are more interested than ever in food production practices, which is driving more farmers and ranchers to open their barn doors and welcome a spirited discussion about modern agriculture, the science of food and consumer preferences – both online and offline. In this session, attendees will learn about Farm Credit’s digital communications model, as well as insights, tips, tools and advice on how to navigate digital platforms, industry events and other powerful communications tools to create a strong and scalable communications strategy for their operations, whether they are small or large. And it all starts with the answer to one simple question: #IsYourBarnDoorOpen?
5 Questions Every Farmer & Rancher Needs to Learn to Answer - Panel
You hate conflict? What can you do to help deal with questions, handle touchy subjects, and utilize social media effectively in conflict? This session offers an opportunity to ask experts about specific issues and how would they handle it with digital / social media. Goal is to help attendee work through real examples of telling story or reacting to ag issue.
Instagram Is More Than Just Pictures with Amy Hays
Instagram is one of 2014’s fastest rising star in the world of social media. This popular tool really demonstrates the saying “a pictures worth a thousand words.” Billed as a social network for pictures, Instagram allows users to create professional looking photo’s through built in tools and filters, and to share those photo’s with friends and followers. A few additional built-in connections such as push sharing to other social channels and an integrated mapping technology add to the fun and utility of this social tool. The capabilities of this tool, and the built-in features also creates an amazing opportunity to use this social network as a platform for education, outreach, and advocacy. Can farmers and ranchers use this tool to educate, inform, and excite consumers? What are some best practices in this tool to take advantage of the outreach opportunities? In this session you’ll learn how to use Instagram “differently” and how this easy social networking tool can be used to magnify your voice.
Cultivating Engagement Among Farmers, Ranchers and consumers Through Social Media Collaborations Between Agriculturists and Home Economists with Lindsay Chichester, Alice Henneman and Brandy VanDeWalle **People's Choice Winner**
When it comes to reaching beyond the choir, there are numerous formulas for reaching non-ag folks. A team of agriculturists and home economists from University of Nebraska Lincoln Extension Educators which includes Alice Henneman, Brandy VanDeWalle and Lindsay Chichester, will present case studies which show you which topics and types of information serve as the best conduit between farmers, ranchers and consumers. Rest assured, you will walk away with some sure-fire ways to cultivate and connect conversations with eaters!
Video Production with Derek Klingenberg and Carrie Mess (this session will run during both breakout session #1 and session #2)
Knowing when to share just ENOUGH with Leah Beyer of Elanco
What is your objective for being on social media? By knowing what you are wanting to communicate and who you want to reach will help you determine what to say and when without amplifying issues you are really trying to debunk. Learn how talking innovation, choice and trade will help you stay focused on what matters.
Hotel Accommodations are available at the recently remodeled Radisson Hotel & Suites in beautiful downtown Austin which includes a new salt water infinity pool. Rooms are available at a discounted rate of $134. Be sure to make your reservation by clicking here to receive the special rate.
For additional information about the 2014 Cultivate & Connect conference, contact Jenny at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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