At the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) annual meeting in January, I had the pleasure of meeting Alabama dairy farmer Will Gilmer, recently appointed chairman of the AFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) committee. I was excited to talk with Gilmer because in my opinion, he has helped define how farmers can utilize social media to advocate on behalf of agriculture, or as the industry has begun to term “agvocate.”
Here’s my interview with Wil Gilmer.
While Gilmer’s speaking with civic groups and inviting school groups to farm tours, he’s engaging in social media to reach beyond his local community. Using tools like a Facebook page, blog, twitter account (@gilmerdairy) and YouTube channel, Gilmer is maintaining a dialogue and showing how a modern dairy farm produces a safe milk supply while caring for its animals.
And he does so in fun and engaging ways like his MooTube Minutes and other videos featuring Will Gilmer-original songs. For a great sample, check out “Water n Poo.”
Gilmer has 1,000+ followers on Twitter, more than 26,000 hits on his YouTube videos, and 550 Facebook fans. Gilmer’s work is a testament to how, farmers coupled with the tools social media has to offer, have the ability to spread their messages. Hopefully under Gilmer’s and the rest of the AFBF YF&R committee’s leadership, more young farmers will join their ranks as agvocates.
Here are some other great farmer follows on Twitter. A lot of them keep blogs and Facebook pages, too. If your favorite farmer follows are missing, please add them to the list!