A couple of days ago, some exciting news crossed my Twitter feed–#140conf is coming to Detroit! Now, I’m sure you’re saying to yourself, “What the heck is #140conf?” If that’s the case–great! This blog is all about explaining this great event, talking about how conferences like these create amazing opportunities for us to agvocate and how you can get involved. Without further ado–let’s jump in!
According to their website, the 140 Character Conference (aka #140conf, for those of you Twitterers familiar with hashtags) “provides a platform for the worldwide twitter community to: listen, connect, share and engage with each other, while collectively exploring the effects of the emerging real-time internet on business.” Since the #140conf events started, conferences have been held in New York City, London, Los Angeles and Tel Aviv. The fact that Detroit gets to hold one of these great events is a real honor and a unique opportunity for those of us in the Midwest.
The #140conf event in Detroit will be held October 20th at The Fillmore Detroit. Registration, schedule and other information can be found on their website.
Now, why anyone in agriculture would want to go to #140conf when it doesn’t have anything to do with agriculture and might not even have any other agriculturalists in attendance? To find an answer to this seemingly difficult idea, I went and found some input from two farmers who had the opportunity to attend the 140 Conference in Los Angeles–Jeff Fowle and Ray Prock.
Jeff and Ray are a rancher and farmer in California and both are founding members of the AgChat Foundation. When I e-mailed the guys to ask them their thoughts on the conference, they both shared with me the same thought without any hesitation–it is all about the communities being built on the real-time web. Whether you are a mommy-blogger, entertainer or farmer, there is an opportunity for you to connect with people through social media and build a true community around conversations, passions and stories.
Jeff also shared with me that events like these are not only an opportunity for us to build our own farming community, but they’re a chance to connect communities that you wouldn’t have thought would be connected otherwise.
“It’s about connecting the people who produce the cattle and pigs to the families who share a hamburger or pork chop dinner. It’s about building relationships between the people who grow the corn and cotton to the citizens who put ethanol in their gas tanks and throw on a cotton t-shirt at the end of the day,” he shared. “Conferences like #140conf provide the forum to connect the producers of America’s food, fiber and fuel to the consumers of those things. Those type of communities are interrelated.”
And I couldn’t agree more. Jeff, Ray and I all encourage those tweeps in the Midwest to attend the 140 Character Conference on October 20th. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to go due to a committment to the National FFA Convention, but I would love to hear from people who are able to attend. Another thing to think about: if you’re one of the first 250 college students to register, your registration is free! I know a lot of great college agvocates who could really benefit from an event like this–I know I could!
The #140conf in Detroit should be an awesome event and who knows? Maybe it will be just the opportunity you need to share your story. If you don’t tell it, who will?
Thanks to Jeff and Ray for chatting with me about the conference. To learn more about their experience, watch this video of Jeff and Ray at #140conf and check out this great blog that shares what happens when a farmer and a rapper walk into a bar…