An Opportunity for Agriculture to Tell its Story

CANADA - An Ontario-based communications specialist says the advent of social media is providing farmers a tremendous opportunity to make their story to the non-farming public, according to Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 27 January 2011
clock icon 3 minute read

"The Future of Communications" was among the topics discussed last week during the 40th annual Banff Pork Seminar.

Lillian Schaer, a Guelph based freelance communications specialist, suggests communication has an incredible role to play in bridging the gap between the two per cent of the population who grow our food and the 98 per cent who increasingly have very little understanding of how that food is produced or where it comes from.

Lillian Schaer-Freelance Communications Specialist

I think the advent of the internet and certainly social media has just opened up an incredible opportunity for farmers and for basically anybody involved in food production.

Now we have this opportunity with using tools like Twitter, like Facebook or even YouTube for example that we can connect directly with consumers.

We can start that dialogue with them directly, we can answer their questions, we can engage them and we can start to build some of those linkages, where as before we had to rely more heavily on traditional media who would often times filter what our message was and we don't necessarily have that anymore in the social media realm.

People are, I think, genuinely interested in learning more, in learning more about farmers, about food production, about where food comes from and social media is a great way for doing that.

At the Banff Pork Seminar we talked about popular tools like Twitter and Facebook but there's also new tools that are coming out down the road that will provide opportunities for farmers as well.

Ms Schaer says, in order to build that dialogue with consumers and make sure they have an understanding of where their food comes from, communications is incredibly important and she expects to see a lot more use of social media and social media tools in food and farming in the future.

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