Philadelphia, PA (October 3, 2011) -- Farmers and ranchers from all 50 states recently participated in an online event that provided firsthand reports from the fields, barns and businesses that raise and deliver food across the U.S.
Called "A Day in Agriculture," the virtual event was hosted by the nation's leading agricultural website, AgWeb.com, to connect Americans to where food is produced. Video, photo, written and social media submissions were gathered from all facets of agriculture; conventional, organic, livestock and crop production were represented.
"From the nutritional value of the local school lunch menu to the purity of apple juice, food is a hot discussion topic for many Americans. What often gets left out of the discussion, however, is where that food really originates and who exactly is responsible for producing it," explained Greg Vincent, AgWeb Editor, who hosted the event. "This virtual event connected those faces–and real farms–to the food we eat."
More than 60 of the nearly 200 submissions were collected directly from farmers throughout the day. In addition, producers, members of the Farm Journal Media team and others in the farming and food industries participated. The engagement continued beyond the farm gate. The social media world was buzzing with tweets and Facebook posts about the day. More than 270 tweeters posted 600 messages on Twitter throughout the day with the hashtag #dayinag.
The social media conversation sparked discussions from all sides of food issues. For example, a food reform advocate in New York City interacted with a farmer on Twitter who helped answer her questions about egg production. "I am learning today!" Leslie Henry posted on her Twitter feed.
"This virtual event speaks magnitudes about two very important things, first that farmers and ranchers are eager and excited to talk with the end consumer about what they do and second, that the end consumer is hungry to learn more about how agriculture really works," said Farm Journal Foundation Chairman Andy Weber. "The Day in Ag event was so unique because it allowed–like never before–producers and consumers to connect in real life and in real time."
The event was supported by Farmers Feeding the World, a nonprofit effort of the Farm Journal Foundation, which is devoted to hunger relief and increasing the understanding of food issues. The American Farm Bureau Federation and several of its state affiliates participated in the program by providing content and organizing farmers to submit their stories.
To see vignettes gathered from the event, visit www.dayinag.com.