Last week, I attended a social media conference sponsored by the Ag Chat Foundation with some of the most popular Ag Bloggers and Twitter users in America and Canada. I loved being with this group. We could go from how to increase your popularity with search engines to predicting corn yields to formatting pictures for a blog and never miss a beat. Needless to say I learned quite a bit and made a lot of new friends. Now if I could just find someone to set all these little gadgets up for me that I now want and didn't know existed a week ago.
I was amazed at how well the conference was ran since it was organized by an entirely volunteer board. They always say if you want something done ask the busiest person you know. If these farmer leaders are anything like me, I am sure they really don't have the extra time to plan this conference, but they make the time. THANK YOU!
The highlight of the conference was when The Peterson Farm Brothers performed their internet hit I Farm It and I Grow It. My kids were so mad that I didn't take them. If you have not seen this video, it is worth the time to go watch.
One evening, we had a swap meet of sorts. Everyone brought agriculture and consumer products from their states or provinces. You might be surprised by how diverse our agriculture production is in the United States. We really enjoyed learning about each states products and I thought you might enjoy them as well. I took chocolate covered soybeans (from Lee's Seeds), crayons (from Prang) made from soybeans as well as some of my favorite recipes that feature the other commodities we raise in Kansas. I wish I would have kept better track of who gave me which products. If anyone knows who brought the items, let me know and I will add the link to their blog or Facebook page.
My new friends from Indiana had a wide variety of items to showcase their diverse agriculture other than corn and soybeans. The boys can hardly wait to try the ear of popcorn and the Pop Weaver Microwave Popcorn from The Farmer’s Life blog. My Farmer and I can’t wait to try the bottle of wine and maple syrup from Indiana.
Our friends from Wisconsin are very proud of the dairy products produced in their state and rightfully so. Dairy Carrie asked the Sartori cheese makers if they would donate some of her favorite cheese- Raspberry BellaVitano for us to taste at the swap and sent her 16 pounds of cheese!! I think I will enjoy it with my Indiana wine. I will also be able to cut it properly with a Wisconsin cheese knife. I picked up the bottle of beer for The Farmer who was not having a good evening at home, but that is another story.
I think my favorite item of the night came from the Arkansas Beef Council. Who would have thought that you could find silly bands in the shape of T-bone steaks and that spell out BEEF. I was so excited about that one. LOL
I was also excited that I got my own mini bale of cotton from my blogger friend that writes Kissed A Farmer. I am hoping to get with her and get a cotton plant that I can take to school to show the kids that their jeans are grown from a plant. My Farmer was excited to know that they were farming on the edge of the Chihuahuan Desert. We may be going to visit them on a family trip.
My boys assure me that the Georgia peanuts from my fellow Oklahoma State grad Meghan are totally awesome. I am excited that she let me know that the Oklahoma Collegiate CattleWomen have a website with some pretty awesome Beef apparel if you are in the market. I was an early member of this organization and would love to help them out.
I met a new pork farmer friend that gave me a bottle of the Martin County Minnesota Pork Seasoning. She told me that they are in talks with Hy-Vee to get the seasoning into their stores! It is a blend that the local producers have developed themselves and we all know that if you raise the commodity you know how to cook it best. She is getting ready to start blogging and I can’t wait to see what she has to say.
Ok, I am showing my age on this one, but a long time ago (the early 1990’s OK maybe late '80's) there was a country song that talked about a bottle of Ski. I always assumed it was alcohol until I traveled to Kentucky and found it to be a type of soda pop. I can’t wait to share with my boys.
One of my friends from Kansas shared a can of Tallgrass Wheat beer brewed in Manhattan, Kansas home of Kansas State University (The Farmer’s Alma mater.)
I personally like the beef jerky provided by the Arkansas contingency that was made in Oklahoma. The package reads “Our meat is sliced, not pressed. Hand trimmed, not formed and a toothpick in every pack. Now there’s a treat we can appreciate.” Love it! I always need a toothpick after eating beef jerky and never have one.
Of course, I picked up a variety of recipes on lamb, turkey and dairy products. I think I will put the cotton tag (that I got from @jplovescotton) on the front of my truck to make people think we are growing cotton now.
As an avid Oklahoma State fan, I am not sure about the Cornhusker chocolates, but my boys assure me that they can eat them.
I love the piggy bank I got from the National Pork Producers Council.
I had a great time. I met a lot a great agriculture people and have a whole list of things I want to try to do on the internet over the next month. In the meantime, don't forget to follow me on Facebook.
Have a great week everyone!
-A Kansas Farm Mom