PLEASE join me in vocal protest of this

http://news.yahoo.com/hsus-president-wayne-pacelle-announces-candidacy-board-seat-164649808.html

Please go and read this announcement.  It is fairly factual if totally in support of HSUS being involved in your meat supply system.  Apparently, HSUS already is part owner in Tyson Foods.

BUT you can just about count on bacon becoming less and less available and costs rising all the time, with HSUS messing in agriculture.

So, if you’re planning to embrace vegetarian living and growing your own garden, please dismiss this plea.

 

Otherwise, please sharpen your pencils and write to local newspapers and media, TO TYSON FOODS, and to anybody and everybody you can think of in protest of this vegan agenda, animal rights activism leader being involved in Tyson Food management.

Thank you for your consideration.

 

Monday Labor Day

Well, I’m working on trying to learn to manipulate my way around this new blogging experience; trying to figure out connections to other social media….I joined Twitter and Facebook both about a year and a half ago and for some reason couldn’t get really comfortable with Twitter yet but have learned my way around Facebook for the most part.   I just know that you can’t learn something new without jumping in there and DOING it, so I’ve made the commitment to devote time to this new tool for communication.

I had a great experience in August that I want to talk with you about–I attended the second annual AgChat Foundation conference held in Nashville, TN.  There was a fascinating group of presenters of information about using social media, including leaders from the Farm Bureau organization, as well as a new organization called US Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRAonline.org).  But many people involved were like me, inspired from some previous experience in life that prompted them to feel compelled to connect with some of the millions of Americans who have no links whatsoever to agriculture except that they eat food.

People involved with AgChat Foundation feel it is VITAL to the health and well-being of everyone on this plant to be more connected to the process of how food makes it to their tables.  From eons, centuries of the process people have travelled from being hunters/gatherers to farmers–in just the last couple generations suddenly a fraction of the population are becoming responsible for feeding the masses.  And the masses need to become “grounded” again, to know the value of the people who produce their food.  We are certainly in this process together, and need to know who the other person is.

I was struck by a scene in an old movie the other day, where the characters were sitting and eating a meal at table.  One popped up and said something like, “Gramps old sow ate all 12 of her piglets last week”.  In today’s society that might be viewed as horrendous and call up the troops from the animal rights crowd to go and shut down the farm business.  But it is actually a risk that any farmer lives with in producing the meat that goes on your table.  Back in the 1940’s when this movie was made, people commonly accepted that this was something that farmers dealt with.  Today’s society wants to place blame somehow for the way nature works, and how we live with it.  Why are farmers at risk of being put out of business in today’s world for what is a natural occurance?  That is what I ponder and want to try to convey to people; that farmers are doing the best that they can with the resources that they have.  Otherwise they are soon out of business and that is a real loss, because it becomes harder and harder to find another person to take up the slack.

Local farm agriculture in public
Farming neighbor Bennett Kuster

This is Bennie, a local successful farmer entering his retirement years.  I will likely interview him in future to get his feedback about coming to a point in life where he will apparently have no one in his family to go on with the farm business.  Like so many people in my area, his land or estate will either get divided and sold off eventually or may be rented out by another farmer as income for the family.  But it is the passing of an era and one of the many stories of how agriculture and farming has developed through the years.

 
So I guess the above information sets up the reasons why I appreciate being able to attend the recent AgChat Fdtn conference.  I’d like to share some highlights of the many things I learned, or was pointed toward learning, for using social media as a means of connecting with people who are interested in where their food comes from and want to learn why it is still important to support your local farmer.   Agriculture comes in many sizes these days and it is a long and complex story as to why government supported the success of large farmers vs. the old fashioned mom and pop small acreage farmers of yesteryear.  But it all comes down to feeding the world.
 
I know this is getting long already, but the main points conveyed at the conference were all about using many various tools available on the internet to inform the general public about agriculture in an entertaining way.  So we got tips about taking pictures and videos, and pointed in the right direction about how to try to involve new people in conversations thru social media.  And the tools are so numerous, I got kind of cross-eyed thinking about interconnecting sites like Twitter, Facebook, and some new and upn’coming sites like Google-Plus.  Pandora offers music; the weather channel is always important to farmers of course!  There was information about a drop box in the cloud….are you getting the picture, I’m still trying to grasp what I took notes about!
 
Ray  Prock was an interesting character, he is a California dairy farmer (raylindairy.wordpress.com) who uses mostly his Android phone for social media connections.  Of course when you start talking about what phones can do these days….and people had a variety of phones at the conference and used them all successfully, from old fashioned texting, to iphones, Blackberries, you name it.  Where there is a will, there is a way.
 
Blogging was probably the biggest focus of information for me, as well as using “Linked In” for a business platform.  Privacy and security issues were discussed.  We were reminded that being “real” is probably the most important thing, and encouraged to develop a credible reputation.  In the world of Google, searchers learn to look for certain credible media connections.  Of course it is of utmost value to develop trust among peers and base information on research and science.  It is also important to create great Headlines on your blog. (I’m open to ideas!)
 
Valuable advice was given about how to respond to personal attacks on social media.  Mostly we learned to “consider the source”…just like momma used to say, sometimes it’s better to just turn and walk away.  Certainly don’t become overly defensive; always look at a negative feedback as an opportunity to open a conversation, not come out swinging ready for a fight.
 
The closing statements of the AgChat Foundation conference came from Jeff Fowle of California (commonsenseagriculture.com) who also is one who converses thru social media from horseback using his phone.  Jeff is outgoing President of AgChat Fdtn.  He reminded us that our passion can be an asset or a liability, but let it be an incentive to reach out, build bridges, grow new communities.  Jeff wants us to encourage curiosity, and show that we care so that we can empower others to put the “culture” back in agriculture.  The strongest relationships that we have should always be person to person, but we also need more “backyard” people, those neighbors who come drop by our porch for a chat of a pleasant evening.  Online social media is a wonderful tool for us to reach out to new people, but Jeff reminds us that we need to be that REAL neighbor and family member first!

I’m joining the postaday challenge

I want to try to maintain writing a post on my blog every day.  I hope that you will enjoy my endeavors