Connecting Farmers and Ranchers to Promote the Sharing of Sustainability Efforts

From foodtank.com, by Clare Algozin
Connecting Farmers and Ranchers to Promote the Sharing of Sustainability Efforts

The AgChat Foundation is dedicated to empowering farmers and ranchers with the tools they need to share their stories and ultimately sharing accurate information about the food system while making meaningful connections. The Foundation’s goal is to connect farmers and ranchers to allow them to share successful practices and promote agricultural advocacy.

Food Tank had the opportunity to speak with Jenny Schweigert, Executive Director of the AgChat Foundation.

Food Tank (FT): How do you contribute to creating a better food system?

Jenny Schweigert (JS): In order to connect farmers and ranchers, the Foundation provides training on social media platforms including but not limited to blogging, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest. Additionally, we equip farmers and ranchers with the skill set to plan tours, events and other in-person interactions to extend their agriculture advocacy efforts.

FT: What are your goals for 2015 and beyond?

JS: Our goals for 2015 included organizing and executing a training event aimed towards the collegiate demographic, a Pacific Northwest Regional conference and our National Conference. To date, we have successfully held the inaugural Collegiate Congress and the 2nd Annual Pacific Northwest Regional conference. Due to the success of the Collegiate Congress, a second Congress is being planned for October 2015. The 2015 Cultivate & Connect Conference is scheduled for November 9-10, in Nashville, TN.

FT: In one sentence, what is the most important thing eaters and consumers can do today to support a more sustainable food system?

JS: Adopt a pro-food choice attitude towards the food system while reaching out to all farmers and ranchers regardless of their practices including those who use conventional practices, non-GMO conventional practices, organic practices, GMO practices, small, large and urban.

FT: How can individuals become more involved in your organization?

JS: The AgChat Foundation hosts a monthly Twitter chat called #FoodChat on the third Tuesday, 7-9pm CT. The audience is a mix of eaters, consumers, farmers and ranchers and provides an opportunity for those groups to connect. Additionally, we are involved with the Ask the Farmers initiative which provides a Facebook page and website where consumers can ask farmers and ranchers questions regarding our food system.

Download the 2015 Good Food Org Guide HERE.