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My passion to help Farmers tell their Stories

In the past several days I have been involved in two exciting events. One was a conference in Chicago to help farmers use new media outlets to tell their stories. The other was the digital launch of a new website where California Farmers tell their stories. The amazing thing about both efforts is that they are farmer led efforts pulled off with shoestring budgets.

The first event is the culmination of a dream I had over a year ago and furthered by some of the best friends a person can have the founders of the Agchat Foundation Jeff Fowle, Mace Thorton, Mike Haley, Michele Payn-Knoper, Chris Chinn , Janice Person & Darin Grimm. The inaugural Agchat Foundation Agvocacy 2.0 Conference in Chicago was the first ever Social Media Conference held for farmers. The people behind the foundation are mainly farmers from across the USA and even Canada with help from some passionate allied members of the Agricultural community. The tone of the conference was heavily based in making the farmers human again and helping them connect with those off the farm. The reality in agriculture today is that we need to put the face back on the farmer so the 98% of the population who do not farm understand what we as farmers do what we do to raise and grow food, fuel and fiber. Over fifty participants and 30 volunteers or speakers came together to work on social Media skills, tips and tricks.

The second effort launched today is the culmination of months of work by the farmer led members of the California Agricultural Communication Coalition (CACC) and facilitated by AdFarm. The website is a one stop shop for people to learn about the farmers in one of the largest and most diverse agricultural states in the USA. Yes that is correct not only do we put out great technology from the Silicon Valley and awesome entertainment from Hollywood, the farmers of California grow and raise over 400 different crops worth billions of dollars. As a California dairy farmer, I want you to know how my family cares for our animals. It is inspiring to see hundreds of other farmers across California contributing their passion to this effort. This is just the beginning, we need more voices to help tell our story. The Know a California Farmer website is an interactive playground filled with pictures, videos and stories generated from my fellow farmers in the Golden State and help us tell our story.

Connect to the Agchat Foundation and get to Know a California Farmer. Learn more about the faces behind your food, fiber, fuel and flowers.

About raylindairy

Ray is a partner with his parents in Ray-Lin Dairy in Denair, Ca. The operation milks 475 cows and double crops corn & winter forage on 130 of the 240 acres with about 90 acres of pasture. The family also has 1200 ac operation in Klamath Falls OR that raises alfalfa hay, wheat hay, and oat hay. Ray is currently secretary of the Agchat Foundation an entity he helped found whose mission is to empower farmer to use social media. He is currently a on the board of directors of CA Dairy Campaign, Dairy CARES, and is the 2nd Vice-President of Stanislaus County Farm Bureau. He is also a member of the National Dairy Board. In addition to his involvement in agricultural organizations’ he is the Chairperson of the Governance Committee at a newly formed charter school his daughter attends, and serves as a director for the East Stanislaus Resource Conservation District. Ray and his wife Erica live on the dairy with their two children.


8 thoughts on “My passion to help Farmers tell their Stories

  1. Ray, It’s a true honor to call you and so many other farmers friends. Thank you for all you do every day both on the farm and in the world of telling your story! You rock! jp

    Posted by Janice | September 1, 2010, 3:29 PM
  2. Had a great time and learned so much! The Know a California Farmer site is also really neat! I would love to see the idea get picked up across the country.

    Posted by Joanna | September 1, 2010, 3:40 PM
  3. Great post Ray,

    I cannot wait to read the stories told by California farmers.

    It was great meting you in person in chicago and I look forward to future discussions.

    Posted by Shaun Haney | September 1, 2010, 4:26 PM
  4. Great post, Ray. “Interactive playground” — what a great turn of phrase. Thanks so much for encouraging other farmers to share their stories. This initiative will help balance the public debate surrounding farmers, farming and agriculture and move the discussion from boardrooms to back roads. Changing public perceptions is a long term challenge. It won’t happen overnight but it will happen — one conversation at a time.

    Posted by Kerri-Sue Lang | September 1, 2010, 5:26 PM
  5. Ray, you are an inspiring farmer who is encouraging more farmers to tell their stories. Thank you. Putting a face to farmers & humanizing them to the consumer is not an easy task but these grass roots efforts are gaining traction. Thanks again.
    Katie, your favorite North Dakotan…maybe

    Posted by Katie | September 1, 2010, 9:23 PM
  6. PS: My favorite Chris Brogan tweet “Nothing says trust like comment moderation!”

    Posted by Katie | September 1, 2010, 9:24 PM
  7. Ray, it was great to see you this past week at the Agchat Conference. Thank you for volunteering your valuable time to help so many farmers become motivated to tell their own farm story. Thank you for all that you do:)

    Posted by The Wife of a Dairyman | September 1, 2010, 11:06 PM

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