When the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) set out to start a new conversation about the future of food, it made sure it wasn’t forgetting current trends showing where an increasing number of conversations are being held.
To the casual observer, last month’s inaugural Food Dialogues featured conversations about today’s food system amongst more than a dozen farmers, ranchers, experts and thought leaders. But in today’s world of fast-paced online connections, the conversation went much further.
In addition to panelists, each site hosted approximately 50 guests, many using laptops, tablet computers and phones to immediately share what was happening during the conversation with fans, friends and followers.
The Food Dialogues was streamed live to an Internet audience and also through Facebook, where more than 800 million people have an account and a half billion people login on any given day.
More than 4,200 tweets were sent by 750 users mentioning The Food Dialogues during the four-hour event, reaching 3.8 million impressions at its peak.
And when panelists were asked questions, they came not only from in-person attendees, but from the real-time conversations happening on the Food Dialogues website, Facebook and Twitter.
Although it’s been nearly a month since The Food Dialogues event, the conversation continues and lives online through video clips, Facebook and Twitter conversations, numerous blog posts and discussion threads.
And like the panelists, this conversation features a wide variety of farmers, ranchers, experts, thought leaders and everyday Americans with many wide ranging thoughts on how we should collectively approach the future of food production.
Of 2,417 everyday consumers surveyed by USFRA, 42 percent said they believe the U.S. food production system is on the wrong track. Another 19 percent were undecided, and only 39 percent said U.S. food production is heading in the right direction.
That’s a wide divide, meaning there’s a lot of conversation to be had. And it’s happening right now online, regardless of what we’re doing (or when we’re doing it) offline.
For farmers and ranchers, it’s a matter of paying attention and being a part of it, or facing a little more disconnectionevery day to a significant number of Americans if they’re not.
It’s not too late to catch up:
Watch the inaugural Food Dialogues, ask questions and provide your opinion.
Become a Fan of the “U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance” on Facebook
Follow USFRA on Twitter
Search #FoodD on Twitter to watch and participate in Food Dialogues conversation
Request Ohio Farm Bureau social media training in your county by contacting your county Farm Bureau or calling 614-246-8233.