Well this is the third time there has been a snow storm since I arrived in Louisiana! I am honestly starting to look forward to the hot and humid Louisiana summer (remind me of this in August, please). During the LATMC we were greeted by a flurry of snow, which thinned out the crowd as the meeting progressed. The best part was seeing snow on the levees surrounding crawfish ponds on my drive back to Baton Rouge. That certainly is a rare sight.
The conference was well attended by consultants from across the state of Louisiana. Presentations were delivered by speakers from Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Alabama. One particularly interesting talk was presented by Owen Taylor, the editor of AgFax. Owen discussed Ag Media with a focus on internet-based tools. Dramatic advances in technology were illustrated – for instance, the name of AgFax was created because the document was originally faxed. Nowadays, it is distributed by e-mail and posted on a website. The website receives over 3.5 million views annually! What a rapid change in delivery method in just 20 years.
Owen discussed the need to develop mobile content for a mobile audience. Our society is on the move, and technology is now moving with people. iPhones are a great example of a computer that you can hold in your hand. Unless you are in an extremely remote location, you can always be connected to an online community.
Different types of media deliveries were discussed – one being the use of video for extension programs. According to Owen, How-To videos are the best suited for Agricultural audiences. The use of blogs was also discussed, and one was highlighted in California. You might want to check it out at www.thealmonddoctor.com.
One of the biggest challenges with all these new media tools is that you can easily be overwhelmed with too much information. Owen discussed some tools that can help you filter the information. One that was presented was Feedreader. You can download this software for free and use it to search multiple websites on a scheduled basis. Say you want to see what’s new on http://www.lsuagcenter.com/ or your local farm bureau page. You can program the software to check for you. This is a time-saving devise that I plan to try out.
Agricultural forums are also thriving online. Owen mentioned NewAgTalk.com. This site is a Forum that you may want to explore. Forum topics range from machinery to crops to markets.
Do you have any online tools that you use to in your farming or consulting operation? You can post them in the form of a comment.
Well, I don’t know about you, but I am ready to get out there and celebrate Mardi Gras. Spanish Town parade here I come! I hope you have a great weekend.