Tag Archives: Lauren Chase

Idaho Cattle Convention – Sun Valley, Idaho

Sun Valley Idaho Resort Social Media TrainingI  can’t believe I’ve let a month go by and haven’t updated the blog on my travels in and around Montana. (So I better catch up!) Work has definitely kept me busy and on the go. But I guess that is a good thing!

In early November, I had the great opportunity to travel to Sun Valley, Idaho to speak at the Idaho Cattle Association’s annual convention. Sun Valley is an extremely nice place in the mountains and home to folks like Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, and Tom Hanks. I certainly couldn’t afford to stay there long, especially during ski season.

The Idaho Cattlemen and women were great hosts as Lauren Chase and I presented 2 different workshops on the value of social media in the cattle community. One of the big questions we address is “Why do ranchers need to be on social media?” There’s a lot of value to being involved in the conversations that are already occurring, both on- and off-line. We would love to be able to direct folks who have food questions to the farmers and ranchers who have the most experience with the issues at hand, but it is kind of difficult if those farmers/ranchers are not making themselves more available to the conversations.

We had a great turnout to our workshops, standing room only both days. It was great to see such interest and interaction with the Idaho ranchers. While at the Convention, we had the opportunity to pull a few folks aside and ask their perspectives on why social media is important in the ranching community. Lauren captured their thoughts in this video.

So I ask you the same question. How can ranchers utilize social media to reach out to consumers who want to engage in conversations about how their beef is raised?

Idaho - The Land of Steak and Potatoes - Agriculture proudly represented at the airport baggage claim!
Idaho – The Land of Steak and Potatoes – Agriculture proudly represented at the airport baggage claim!

The trip also marked the first opportunity for me to board a plane by walking out on the tarmac. Good thing it was decent weather! (I may not have such good luck for this week’s trip, but more on that Thursday.) But it’s something I better get used to here in Montana. Alaska Airlines was great and the boarding process was much easier than the normal jetway on larger planes. I got to fly into Seattle, then to Boise. Both great airports, but I think my favorite part was watching the changes in landscapes. The drive from Boise to Sun Valley was really neat. I’m very glad I got to make the trip and hope to make it back to Idaho sometime. But I was definitely glad to make it back on the ground after an expected windy landing back in Great Falls.

Check out more photos from our #SocialBeef workshops on Facebook! Lauren and I look forward to more opportunities like these workshops in the future!

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Tennessee #SocialBeef Social Media Training

Social Media Training Workshop Farmers AgricultureI absolutely love days where I can sit talk with farmers and ranchers and encourage them to reach out of their comfort zone to share their stories. This past week, the Tennessee Beef Industry Council and Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association offered me that opportunity. Lauren Chase and I were both very grateful for the chance to put together a workshop for about 30 farmers, ranchers, and members of the agriculture community in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Lauren put together a great video that summarized the event.

What is #SocialBeef?

Farmers and Ranchers are often under criticism from folks who have had little or no exposure to how modern agriculture actually works. We are encouraging members of the agriculture community to reach out and be more social, telling their stories of food production. This applies online where conversations are already occurring, as well as in our local communities. Our neighbors will be our greatest allies in times of need, if we are more transparent with them and answering their questions about our food supply. So will you give a pledge to be more social?

Social Media Beef Cattle AgricultureIt’s not so much about teaching folks what message to share, but more about giving the tools for using social media and helping them map out a strategy for how they want to use it. Several folks are surprised by the difference that can be made by engaging on social media. We had a great time during the visit in Tennessee and I look forward to future workshops and opportunities like this!


Farewell and Thank You – Big Sky Boots [Giveaway]

I have to go out on a high note right? I really can’t wrap up my blogging without saying THANK YOU to all of my friends and followers! And I have the PERFECT gift for one lucky person!

Thanks to the generosity and creativity of my friend Lauren Chase at the Montana StockGrowers Association (MSGA), I have a great work of art to share. Big Sky Boots: Working Seasons of a Montana Cowboy is the first in a series of Photo books that highlights the work, passion, and lives of the Montana Cattlemen, women, and their ranching families. This book is seriously a piece to treasure.

Chase (@LaurenMSea) has traveled numerous miles and spent hours working alongside Montana ranchers to take us “on a journey through a year in the life of Montana’s cowboys—through calving, branding, and shipping, and everything in between.” She is a perfect example of how someone can grow up and not have a background in agriculture, but develop a strong love and passion for this way of life. A great example for many.

The book contains very high-quality photos of the Montana scenery, the story of the rancher’s work through the seasons, and links to online content for more behind the story. She really does a great job of sharing the Agriculture story with those who want to learn more about where their food comes from.

I have a copy that will go to one lucky winner. Anyone can enter, but if the winner is on a farm or ranch, I ask that you eventually pass it along to someone who wants to learn more about American Agriculture (as that is one purpose of the MSGA project).

How do you enter to win?

You can win a copy of Big Sky Boots ($75.00 value)! Fill out the form below and respond to the question from a consumer’s perspective – “How can you learn more about American Agriculture?”

Put some thought into it. In what ways can you reach out to farmers, ranchers, and those involved in our food production system to learn more about where our food comes from? How can you reach out, ask questions, and work with others to make improvements in a productive manner?

I’ll pick a winner using a random number generator from the responses to the contact form below. The winner will be contacted on Thursday, November 15th and responses will be shared on this blog.

If you just can’t wait, visit the MSGA web site to order your copy. It will make a great Christmas gift for someone!

THANK YOU to everyone who has followed my blogging efforts over the past 3+ years. As I take a difficult break to pursue studies in graduate school, I hope you’ll continue seeking first-hand sources to learn more about modern agriculture. Farewell for now and enter to win!

Rules for contest:

  • One entry per email address.
  • Entries must be made by 12:00AM Eastern Thursday, November 15th, 2012
  • All required information in Entry Form must be completed
  • Winner will be chosen via random number generator
  • Blog administrator reserves the right to disqualify entries based on site moderation policies listed on the About page.