What a week for agriculture in the world of social media.
From my perspective, I think I might have won a petty battle with a fellow Facebooker over myths about beef production (see blog Lessons Learned—Animal Agriculture). The following day a firestorm erupted throughout social media about an article written by a Yahoo blogger, Mr. Loose, about the most useless majors. This article featured three degrees in the agricultural field of the five degrees trashed in the blog post.
Let just say, from the first post I saw about the article I didn’t think much of it. Honestly, this is not the first time agricultural degrees have been cited as worthless by mainstream journalist or bloggers. I read an article on MSN about a year ago that cited the same thing, majoring in agriculture or agriculturally focused degrees was worthless to someone’s future and their pocketbook.
Well this maybe true in some peoples eyes, but the reposts, shares and tweets of the article by furious college of agricultural graduates it was evident that this is not true. And these graduates, myself included, were ready to prove this Mr. Loose wrong. This may be the first time I have seen my entire news feed fill with the same story. With that I pose the question, are agriculturalist finally ready to present our story on a united front?
I am guessing some of your reading this will say, we already have, and don’t you pay any attention to the social movements within social media? But lets be honest, agriculture is the uniting factor for many of us, but our individual stories are very unique. I am not saying there is anything wrong with that, but it seems almost like a dividing line for some. Also, agriculturist almost seem to be or have been operating in a secret society. This society has placed a buffer around itself from sharing information with consumers about our products and practices. Just cause we know where food or clothes come from doesn’t mean they do. I have had that thought many times, but a gentleman I was interviewing yesterday for my thesis research put this thought into words.
My question is now, how are those of us involved in agriculture going to maintain this excitement and passion through social media to convince the consumer that we are transparent, dedicated industry? And that we are continually, looking out for the best interest of our animals, crops, land, other environments and above all the consumer.
Just questions to ponder, I can’t tell you the level of excitement that I felt as the Facebook Fan Page I Studied Agriculture & I have a Job gained momentum this week was something unreal. I can only hope this will continue and excite people about this industry!
P.S. the page has almost 4,000 likes!