Is Twitter More Likely to Attract Livestock “Tweeps?”

AgChatAs my friend Joe Cornely once said, “I’m a twit who likes to tweet on Twitter.”

I’ve engaged in Twitter as part of my social media “brand” since its early days. Along with Facebook, the site is where I spend the bulk of my social media efforts.

Last evening I dropped in on the weekly phenomenon known as #AgChat. I have several opinions about the actual #AgChat itself as compared to the non-profit “agvocacy” organization growing from some of the event’s more savvy participants. Some of the organization’s founders are among my favorite “tweeps,” so I’ll save my commentary for later.

Enjoying last night’s conversation on risk management for farms and ranches, the moderator noted that the conversation was fairly quiet… An innocuous comment that nevertheless got me thinking.

Knowing that several hundred people typically participate in the online roundtable, I was curious if, given that risk management tools typical involve grain producers at a much higher level than livestock producers, Twitter tends to attract more of us involved in livestock production than grain farming.

Posting the question to the discussion, I was pleased to receive several responses.

The moderator, ever ready to promote the virtues of AgChat (as she should), suggested:

AgChat Screencap #1

My friend Hannah Thompson offered the following:

AgChat Screencap #2

And my friend Margo Overholt provided this insight:

AgChat Screencap #3

So let’s open the discussion… Are the virtues of Twitter geared more toward folks of a livestock background or interests? If so, why? Of the major #AgChat players I interact with on Twitter, I perceive a much stronger concentration in that arena as opposed to grain production.

But, this is just a perception, so I’m asking the question to engender discussion. If the audience is indeed more skewed toward the hoof than the seed, why? What about the platform attracts those of us geared toward animal husbandry?

Talk amongst yourselves…

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About Andy Vance

Grains and Biofuels Editor at Feedstuffs, the weekly newspaper for agribusiness, and resident blogger at BeefProducer.com. If the pen is truly mightier than the sword, I may be the most dangerous man I know...

2 Responses to “Is Twitter More Likely to Attract Livestock “Tweeps?””

  1. Hannah Thompson Reply May 3, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    I think there is a bigger push for livestock farmers to turn to social media to connect with the public because we have more to lose from the public’s lack of familiarity with agriculture. The ballot issues are all about food animal production-not grain. Although grain farmers will clearly suffer as well if the amount of livestock raised in the country decreases, it isn’t a first-hand impact. Just my thoughts on why livestock producers seem to be the early and passionate SM users!

  2. I’m putting together a list of Ag twitter users, who are active on twitter and have a blog. My numbers are as follows:

    8 – Agvocates
    9 – Dairy Farmers
    14 – Farmers and Ranchers
    21 – Women in Ag
    3 – Organic Farmers
    4 – NextGen Agriculturalists

    Of the 4 nextgenners, all are women. Most of the Famers, Ranchers, and Dairy Farmers twitter accounts and blogs are updated and maintained by women.

    I think the real question to ask is #agchat dominated by women and does this mean “soft skills” typically not associated with farming might bring more women back to the region and family farms?