Social Media Taking Root In Ag

Online social media including Twitter, Facebook and MySpace are making inroads in the agribusiness community, because they can help producers attract and serve customers, says marketing expert Tracy Irani, a professor with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

The technology may seem daunting, Irani said, but producers need to know that social media offer a new way to create and maintain relationships with people. That’s a basic task for any successful farming operation.

Irani will give a presentation today on the use of social media in consumer marketing at the International Citrus & Beverage Conference in Clearwater Beach. The presentation includes an overview of social media, case studies and tips on interacting with consumers online.

“What I hope to do is get some thoughts started,” Irani said. “We know, no matter what the issue is, the biggest challenge is getting people educated.”

Part of that involves showing farmers what they’re missing if they don’t use social media. For example, many farms that sell direct to consumers have websites. But they may be little more than electronic fliers, offering directions to the farm, lists of products and purchasing information.

By plugging into social media, producers can encourage users to share opinions, make requests and pose questions. This information can help farmers boost sales and increase efficiency.

Irani is development director for UF’s Center for Public Issues Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources. The “PIE Center,” as it’s called, includes a website that focuses on agribusiness issues, offering research-based information and solutions designed to raise awareness and informed decision making. It’s located at http://www.centerpie.com.

The center has been operating for about 18 months, she said.

“Response has been amazing,” Irani said. “Sometimes an idea is right for the times.”

Center personnel have collaborated on public opinion research with several organizations, and Irani said she expects this trend to continue.

John Hoblick, president of the Florida Farm Bureau, said he is impressed with the quality of the center’s work. “Florida agriculture will benefit by having this type of resource available and we urge continued industrywide support for the work done by the PIE Center,” he said.

Irani is available for presentations. Contact her at 352-392-0502, ext. 225 or irani@ufl.edu.

Source: UF/IFAS news release

Leave a Reply

Featured Stories

IrrigationWet December Predicted For Parched California
November 25, 2014
National Weather Service says above-normal precipitation expected; it may continue through the winter in central and southern parts of the Golden State. Read More
Apples & PearsEPA Approves Three New Moth Mating Disruption Products
November 25, 2014
Codling moth and oriental fruit moth are targeted by apple and pear growers. Read More
VegetablesSakata Hosts Annual Fall Field Trials
November 25, 2014
Growers and dealer partners gather to see new varieties at the company's South Florida field station. Read More
VegetablesStokes Seeds Presents Their Latest Vegetable Varieties
November 25, 2014
For more information, contact: Stokes Seeds P.O. Box 548 Buffalo, NY 14240-0548 800-263-7233; fax: 800-272-5560 stokesseeds.com Read More
VegetablesAbbott & Cobb Presents Their Latest Vegetable Varieties
November 25, 2014
For more information, contact: Abbott & Cobb P.O. Box 307 Feasterville, PA 19053 800-245-SEED; fax:215-245-9043 abbotcobb.com Read More
VegetablesVariety Trials 2014: Rupp Seeds
November 25, 2014
Check out new pumpkins weighing between 18 and 20 pounds as well as new powdery-mildew tolerant butternut squash hybrids. Read More
Food SafetyMultistate Salmonella Outbreak Linked To Bean Sprouts
November 25, 2014
FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention along with state and local officials continue to investigate the food-borne illness outbreak. Read More
Insect & Disease UpdateCitrus Survey: New Management Techniques Trending
November 25, 2014
Growers widen their tactical approach to survive HLB. Read More
FruitsFruitGrowerConnect Brings Buyers And Sellers Together [Slideshow]
November 25, 2014
Suppliers and growers got down to business in San Diego discussing current needs, solutions, and ways to increase efficiencies on the farm. Read More
Vegetables13 Must Have Carrot Varieties [Slideshow]
November 24, 2014
Browse the slideshow for information on 13 carrot varieties to add to your collection. Read More

The Latest

IrrigationWet December Predicted For Parched California
November 25, 2014
National Weather Service says above-normal precipitation expected; it may continue through the winter in central and southern parts of the Golden State. Read More
Apples & PearsEPA Approves Three New Moth Mating Disruption Products
November 25, 2014
Codling moth and oriental fruit moth are targeted by apple and pear growers. Read More
VegetablesSakata Hosts Annual Fall Field Trials
November 25, 2014
Growers and dealer partners gather to see new varieties at the company's South Florida field station. Read More
VegetablesStokes Seeds Presents Their Latest Vegetable Varieties
November 25, 2014
For more information, contact: Stokes Seeds P.O. Box 548 Buffalo, NY 14240-0548 800-263-7233; fax: 800-272-5560 stokesseeds.com Read More
VegetablesAbbott & Cobb Presents Their Latest Vegetable Varie…
November 25, 2014
For more information, contact: Abbott & Cobb P.O. Box 307 Feasterville, PA 19053 800-245-SEED; fax:215-245-9043 abbotcobb.com Read More
VegetablesVariety Trials 2014: Rupp Seeds
November 25, 2014
Check out new pumpkins weighing between 18 and 20 pounds as well as new powdery-mildew tolerant butternut squash hybrids. Read More
Food SafetyMultistate Salmonella Outbreak Linked To Bean Sprouts
November 25, 2014
FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention along with state and local officials continue to investigate the food-borne illness outbreak. Read More
Insect & Disease UpdateCitrus Survey: New Management Techniques Trending
November 25, 2014
Growers widen their tactical approach to survive HLB. Read More
FruitsFruitGrowerConnect Brings Buyers And Sellers Together […
November 25, 2014
Suppliers and growers got down to business in San Diego discussing current needs, solutions, and ways to increase efficiencies on the farm. Read More
Vegetables13 Must Have Carrot Varieties [Slideshow]
November 24, 2014
Browse the slideshow for information on 13 carrot varieties to add to your collection. Read More
CitrusReasons Aplenty Florida Growers Should Feel Good Going …
November 24, 2014
Thanks to recent industry achievements, the next 12-month period is shaping up to be a year to remember --- fondly. Read More
BerriesSuspected Borer Could Be Big Bother To Florida Blueberr…
November 24, 2014
Producers warned to be on the lookout as scientists probe samples. Read More
NutsWatch Your Almonds’ Salt Intake
November 24, 2014
Because of the current California drought, almond growers must pay extra attention to soil salinity. Read More
Varieties & RootstocksHelp On The Way Citrus Growers Can Truly Tap Into
November 24, 2014
Demand for inventory to rise as USDA’s Tree Assistance Program pushes new plantings. Read More
FruitsRegistration Opens Dec. 1 For NAFDMA 30th Annual Conven…
November 24, 2014
The five-day event includes bus tours, educational sessions, workshops, and a business exchange in Tennessee in February. Read More
CitrusIndustry Organizations Sound Off On President’s Immig…
November 21, 2014
Agriculture is not given the attention it so sorely deserves when it comes to the immigration debate. Read More
Insect ControlDon’t Turn Your Back On Striped Blister Beetles
November 21, 2014
Learn how to ID, the survival and spread, as well as management methods of this vegetable pest. Read More
CitrusRamped-Up Predatory Mite Production To Benefit Growers
November 21, 2014
Biologics company Beneficial Insectary now rearing two species in its California facility. Read More