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
Agritainment
CitrusAgritourism Gaining Lots Of Ground In Sunshine State
July 6, 2015
Researchers report more farming operations are growing revenue by hosting festivals, tours, wine tastings, and more. Read More
Photo of New Guinea flatworm found near Coral Gables, FL
CitrusSouth Florida’s Newest Pest Has Significant Ooze Factor
July 2, 2015
The infamous New Guinea flatworm, one of the ‘world's worst invasive alien species,’ might have found a new home. Read More
Farm ManagementPMA Advocates For Improvements To Proposed FSMA Mandatory Food Recall Guidance
July 2, 2015
This week the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) submitted comments on behalf of its membership to FDA regarding the proposed Mandatory Read More
VegetablesUnited Fresh Leadership Program’s Class 20 Donates 28 Salad Bars To Schools
July 2, 2015
Over the past year, the twelve members of United Fresh Produce Industry Leadership Program’s Class 20 raised funds to support Read More
CitrusFlorida’s Young Farmers Working To Bridge Generation Gap
July 2, 2015
Leadership conference to give GenNext Growers tools to become better agvocates. Read More
ProductionUse Broccoli Rotations To Reduce Disease And Minimize Leaching
July 1, 2015
Crop rotations are a key production practice utilized by every grower. You recognize the importance of rotations to break insect Read More
CitrusIndustry Stakeholders Rip Report Linking Citrus Consumption With Skin Cancer
July 1, 2015
Associations react swiftly; call out flaws in study released by the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Read More
Cucurbits11 Pumpkin And Squash Varieties
July 1, 2015
This month’s variety specs feature focuses on pumpkin and squash varieties. Features highlighted include great disease resistance packages, excellent yield potential, Read More
VegetablesInterview With Hazera Global Onion Product Manager
July 1, 2015
Onion is one of the most produced vegetable crops in the world. A lot of expertise is required to develop Read More
EquipmentHarvest Trends: More Mechanization Needed For Vegetable Growers
July 1, 2015
As the labor supply declines, industry experts and growers say investing in the latest harvesting technology will be necessary. Read More
The Latest
Agritainment
CitrusAgritourism Gaining Lots Of Ground In Sunshine State
July 6, 2015
Researchers report more farming operations are growing revenue by hosting festivals, tours, wine tastings, and more. Read More
Photo of New Guinea flatworm found near Coral Gables, FL
CitrusSouth Florida’s Newest Pest Has Significant Ooze Factor
July 2, 2015
The infamous New Guinea flatworm, one of the ‘world's worst invasive alien species,’ might have found a new home. Read More
Farm ManagementPMA Advocates For Improvements To Proposed FSMA Mandato…
July 2, 2015
This week the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) submitted comments on behalf of its membership to FDA regarding the proposed Mandatory Read More
VegetablesUnited Fresh Leadership Program’s Class 20 Donates 28 S…
July 2, 2015
Over the past year, the twelve members of United Fresh Produce Industry Leadership Program’s Class 20 raised funds to support Read More
CitrusFlorida’s Young Farmers Working To Bridge Generation Ga…
July 2, 2015
Leadership conference to give GenNext Growers tools to become better agvocates. Read More
ProductionUse Broccoli Rotations To Reduce Disease And Minimize L…
July 1, 2015
Crop rotations are a key production practice utilized by every grower. You recognize the importance of rotations to break insect Read More
CitrusIndustry Stakeholders Rip Report Linking Citrus Consump…
July 1, 2015
Associations react swiftly; call out flaws in study released by the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Read More
Cucurbits11 Pumpkin And Squash Varieties
July 1, 2015
This month’s variety specs feature focuses on pumpkin and squash varieties. Features highlighted include great disease resistance packages, excellent yield potential, Read More
VegetablesInterview With Hazera Global Onion Product Manager
July 1, 2015
Onion is one of the most produced vegetable crops in the world. A lot of expertise is required to develop Read More
EquipmentHarvest Trends: More Mechanization Needed For Vegetable…
July 1, 2015
As the labor supply declines, industry experts and growers say investing in the latest harvesting technology will be necessary. Read More
healthy piece of citrus
Citrus Achievement AwardNeglected Research, Future Growers Top Of Mind For 2015…
July 1, 2015
Orie Lee advises young up-and-comers to supplement production knowledge with business acumen; calls for more focus on blight. Read More
Business PlanningTake Climate Change — Please [Opinion]
June 30, 2015
It’s a difficult issue because people tend to think of it in terms of something tangible — like the weather. Read More
NutsWalnut Nitrogen Budgeting Critical
June 30, 2015
Applying the right amount of N is not easy because walnuts take a lot, but these days you don’t want to apply too much. Read More
FruitsHighlights From The Ohio Produce Growers And Marketers …
June 30, 2015
American Vegetable Grower magazine made its way to the Ohio Produce Growers and Marketers Association (OPGMA) Summer Tour & Field Read More
Insect ControlAlabama Insect Scouting Report Indicates Armyworm Numbe…
June 30, 2015
Report discusses caterpillars, sucking pests, and cowpea curculio activity and management. Read More
Nutrient ManagementResearchers Say Cover Crops May Help Save Soil In Flood…
June 30, 2015
According to experts, planting cover crops may help preserve healthy soil in fields in fields left empty this year thanks to flooding. Read More
TomatoesGSPP Accreditation Enables Sakata Seed America To Offer…
June 30, 2015
The seed company is now authorized to store, treat, process, package, and distribute GSPP-certified tomato seed for the NAFTA market. Read More
MarketingThe Power Of Local Food [Opinion]
June 30, 2015
Summer is now in full swing and we have entered what I like to call “the season of farmers markets.” Read More