Lessons Learned

(For ACOM 5308 – Utilizing Online Media in Agricultural Communications)

Learning from the Texas Tech online media personnel was very informative.  During the lecture, Facebook edge rank was discussed.  To increase the likelihood that a post will display on follower news feeds, mixing media is important.  This is an idea I had not considered in my own social media management.  Increasing content exposure is very important and I this is an idea that I have already applied, with great results.  By posting a mix photos, links, videos and other online content to the Facebook page, a more diverse audience can be reached.  Social media managers cannot be afraid to try new tactics for reaching and engaging their audience.   Try something new and see how it does!

Prior to this class, I did not know that YouTube is the second most popular search engine.  This is powerful information as it emphasizes the need to post video content to the site, and then cross promote it on websites and social media platforms.  Businesses may create an online media account, only to neglect it due to lack of content or man power.  This is a huge mistake.  It is important to maintain accounts with proper content.  I gained several ideas for videos to share through the lecture, including products in action, tours of the office and calls to action.

An important concept that was introduced early in the course and carried throughout was the businesses need to determine what successful social media means for their organization.  Just as every entity is different, the way social media will benefit their bottom line also varies.  Success can be measured in increased sales, but it could also be the number of followers, likes, retweets or number of daily interactions.  There are numerous online tools to measure these factors. Exploring these options and considering the purpose and audience of the social media platforms will help drive success, no matter the measure.


Social Media in Agriculture

(For ACOM 5308 – Utilizing Online Media in Agricultural Communications)

Debbie Lyons-Blythe is mother, wife and cattle rancher in central Kansas.  “My job is to raise the cattle and kids, “ says Debbie.  With about 250 mama cows, 350 heifers and five kids, that’s a big job!  Debbie and her husband have been married for 22 years and both grew up raising cattle.  Debbie is an online media force with a presence on Twitter, Facebook, and her own blog. She connects with other mothers of all backgrounds while sharing the daily activities of a ranch mom.

Keith Good is an attorney from central Illinois who feeds his Twitter account with updates from the Hill throughout the day.  He also blogs about farm policy. He is a very efficient and effective agricultural communicator who shares the important points of what is happening on the Hill in a way that can be quickly read and understood.

Best Food Facts hosts Facebook and Twitter accounts to share interesting facts about agriculture, links to interviews with experts in various fields, responses to issues within the industry and answers common consumer questions.  They also have a blog.

Beltway Beef is a blogging and social media effort by the policy division of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.  The blog keeps readers updated on pertinent legislation and provides the association’s view on such issues.  Some posts are written text while others are audio interviews.  Beltway Beef can be found on Twitter and Facebook.

Dr. Scott Hurd’s Twitter feed features information regarding food safety and reflects his background in education, government and veterinary medicine.  He also features posts from his blog, Hurd Health.

Janeal Yancey is the Mom at the Meat Counter behind her Facebook, Twitter and blog.  She encourages conversations about meat and is a reputable source as a mom with a doctorate in meat science.

Jeff Fowle is active on Twitter, Google+, Quora and through several blogs. What I was most interested in was his Pinterest account.  Nearly 500 people follow his boards, featuring topics of technology, favorite blogs and social media tools.

Chris Chinn is an avid tweeter and blogger. She is a fifth generation family farmer who engages with her followers while sharing information about life on the family farm.

A proud Illinois Farm Girl, Katie Pratt tweets about her adventures as a wife, mother, famer and Ag in the Classroom coordinator.  Katie integrates news, life lessons and personal thoughts and stories into her posts.

Will Gilmer tells the story of agriculture and his family’s dairy farm in Alabama through Twitter, Facebook and a blog.  I enjoy the inside look into the dairy that Will shows his readers.  His Facebook page is often updated with photos of daily activities and special events on the farm.

Examples of Blogs

(For ACOM 5308 – Utilizing Online Media in Agricultural Communications)

These are ten blogs I find interesting and peruse regularly.  Most of them fall into the themes of my interests and current life situations.  Do you follow any of these blogs?  Which ones do you like the most?

Crystal Cattle

Since I started reading Crystal Young’s blog, she has moved, gotten married, changed jobs and so much more.  Her blog serves as a direct connection to the farm as she blogs about chores, cattle sales and the corn report.  What I like most about Crystal’s blog is how she smoothly mixes stories about agriculture in among tales of new recipes, favorite makeup products, and my personal favorite, Turquoise Thursday posts.

À La Missy

I met Missy Hren while living and working in Wisconsin during the summer of 2012.  While I was working for Charleston|Orwig with her friend Elyise, Missy had an internship with Massey Ferguson.  While some internships turn into full-time positions, this one did not turn out that way.  Missy’s blog chronicles the roller-coaster ride that is the job hunt.  Her personality shines through the posts and I am inspired by her positive attitude.  Recently, Missy was hired!

The Pioneer Woman

In search of a new cinnamon roll recipe, I came across The Pioneer Woman.  We’ve talked about Ree Drummund in class, but I like her blog so much that I have to include it on this list.  Ree shares recipes that have become my favorites, photos of life on the ranch and has weekly giveaways.  Someday, I will win something from The Pioneer Woman.  Someday. I enjoy the tone Ree takes with each of her posts, like she is a friend, telling me about her day.

One Twenty Five

Liz, of the One Twenty Five blog, shares some of my interests and struggles, which are what first led me to her blog.  She loves to travel and is an avid CrossFitter.  Liz posts to her blog when she is happy, mad, sad, excited and uncertain.  I feel like I am getting an inside look into how she really processes through situations and feelings.  She doesn’t sugarcoat anything for her readers, we just get the honest truth about her life.


What Should We Call Grad School is a blog of GIFs with captions that capture the daily struggles of life as a graduate student.  While some of the posts apply more to students who work in labs as part of their study, most of the blog is applicable to everyone on the path to a higher degree.  On some occasions, the blog posts have directly reflected an experience I had that day or week while at school.  The blog is a funny reminder that we are all  in this together.


If you’re not married, but many of your friends are engaged or have tied the knot, this blog is for you.  I have about seven save the dates on my fridge and have no intention of getting married any time soon.  My Friends Are Married is another blog of GIFs with captions, but this time depicting the situations of bridesmaids and single friends of the bride.


I love food.  I also love looking at photos of food.  The Foodopia blog’s layout is tiled, beautiful photos of food that link to recipes found all over the web.  I’ve tried a few recipes from the blog, but mostly just found inspiration for simpler recipes.  I like the mix of recipes and foods found on the blog.  Many times, I come across blogs that cater to specifically vegetarian or low-calorie recipes.  Foodopia finds a good balance between all diets in their posts.

What Should We Call Social Media

Full-time social media managers can definitely relate with What Should We Call Social Media.  The posts are GIFs with captions depicting life as a 24/7 social media user.  I appreciate that the blog is equally as current as social media streams.  Whenever there is a social media crisis, like the leaked Taco Bell photo, the blog posts.

What I’d Wear

This is the most recent blog I have started following on TumblrWhat I’d Wear features photos of street style and answers readers’ questions about what to wear with certain pieces.  I like the style of the blogger and also enjoy getting new outfit ideas.

Bring it on Home

Robin Kleine, a dear friend, is a fellow Wildcat who blogs about the things she loves.  She works from home for Focus Marketing Group and also does freelance work through her business, RKK Communications.  I’ve learned as a recent graduate and transplant Texan that staying in touch with friends can be difficult.  I enjoy keeping up with Robin through her blog.  She also uses the blog to promote her freelance work, which gives me ideas for how to do the same on my site.