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

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

Source: UF/IFAS news release

Leave a Reply

Featured Stories

All Vegetables Stories >All Fruits Stories >All Nuts Stories >All Citrus Stories >

The Latest

Disease ControlFungal Disease Outbreak Hits Pacific Northwest Vegetabl…
August 27, 2014
An outbreak of blackleg, light leaf spot, and white leaf spot can be significant problems in several vegetable crops.   Read More
CitrusClean Water Conundrum: Ditch The Rule Or Ditch The Myth…
August 26, 2014
Regulation inundation causing a rising tide of confusion for farmers. Read More
BerriesMichigan State University Extension Offers Tips To Prev…
August 26, 2014
Humidity, rainy periods conducive to disease development. Read More
FruitsSpotted Wing Drosophila Populations Rising In Michigan
August 26, 2014
Extension researchers advise berry growers on trapping, salt testing to take stock of pest population. Read More
Apples & PearsNorthwest Pear Crop Estimate Revised Upward
August 26, 2014
Washington and Oregon pear growers forecast a larger size crop than that originally estimated. Read More
VegetablesAgrium Acquires A Controlling Interest In Biotech Compa…
August 26, 2014
The company also acquires stake in Agricen Sciences as part of strategic effort to expand their offering of integrated, next-generation plant health technologies. Read More
Insect ControlCover All Angles When Taking On Threecornered Alfalfa H…
August 25, 2014
Learn how to ID, the survival and spread, and management methods for this insect pest. Read More
GrapesEarthquake Shakes Up Napa Wine Industry
August 25, 2014
Sunday’s early morning quake was centered just six miles from the city of Napa. Read More
OrangesNew Orange Pipeline Full Of Juice
August 25, 2014
Industry stakeholders are working on a rapid release model for processed varieties. Read More
CitrusCalifornia Citrus Cleared For Chinese Export
August 25, 2014
New agreement addresses concerns over brown rot. Read More
CitrusConsolidated Citrus Eyes Giant Planned Agricultural, Em…
August 25, 2014
South Florida real estate endeavor includes a 5 million-square-foot industrial park, including 200,000 square feet of retail space and 500 hotel rooms. Read More
Pest ControlManaging Lepidoptera In Tomatoes
August 22, 2014
This video provides information on how to best identify and control Lepidoptera in tomatoes. Read More
GrapesMichigan Conference Focuses On Impact Of Climate Change…
August 22, 2014
Experts from Michigan State University, Ohio State University, and Northwestern Michigan College to discuss Polar Vortex, technology, and unmanned systems at one-day conference. Read More
GrapesNew York Grape Grower Survey Reveals Huge Losses
August 22, 2014
Cornell Cooperative Extension publishes results of a grower poll of winter injury damage. Read More
GrapesOregon Anticipates Large Grape Harvest
August 22, 2014
Growers keep fingers crossed that late-season rainfall doesn’t ruin crop. Read More
GrapesFarmers Fresh Fruit Company Integrates QR Code Into Cla…
August 22, 2014
Design allows consumers to access online information about variety, nutritional information, etc. Read More
Crop ProtectionGetting To The Root Of Good Soil Health Requires Some D…
August 21, 2014
Dave Gilliam of Horticultural Alliance says more citrus growers are paying attention to what's happening below the ground in their groves. Read More
Citrus‘Super Cold’ Winter, Sizzling Summer On Tap In 2015…
August 21, 2014
The 223rd edition of the folksy regional forecast manual predicting extremes. Read More