Heading to a local café is a rite of passage for many Minnesotans. A cup of coffee, good people and good conversation helps start a morning or pass a break.
But sometimes, farming doesn’t allow for time to meet the gang for coffee and conversation. For those instances, the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC), through the wise investment of soybean checkoff dollars, has provided the perfect solution — Ag Café.
Ag Café, a new website better referred to as an engagement hub, is a revolutionary concept that uses real-time RSS and social media feeds from state and national organizations to bring agriculture topics to users.
MSR&PC Director Jim Willers, who chairs the Marketing Communications team, says Ag Café is a new way to reach young farmers and is a site where people can get a sense of what is going on in the industry.
“We’re trying all means of media to reach the farmers and inform them about how we invest their checkoff dollars and what we are accomplishing with those dollars,” Willers says. “We think this is a good medium for those people who turn to the internet and specifically blogs and social media to be informed.”
To complement its real-time news feeds, Ag Café also offers a series of blogs covering four main topics: Field to Table, Why We Farm, Agvancements and Growing Together. Each of these areas is intended to create a better awareness of topics important to farmers and non-farmers alike.
The newsfeeds are also paired with a robust discussion platform where people can connect, ask questions and chat with one another. The goal of this website is to attract all types of people interested in agriculture and to provide better awareness of what is happening on the farm, what is impacting farmers and ultimately, what impacts their food.
“We are very excited about this new website” says Craig Bangasser, a farmer near Garvin, Minn., and MSR&PC secretary. “We want to help create more positive conversations and engage with others across the state. We want to let others see what is happening in agriculture and have one location where they can find a great variety of information.”
MSR&PC Chairman Paul Simonsen says the new site was born from research gleaned from Minnesota soybean farmers.
“Through research we have conducted we heard that Minnesota farmers want Minnesota Soybean and the farmers who represented it to be a voice for agriculture in Minnesota,” Simonsen says. “This is a great tool and another way that we can do just that.”
In addition to serving as a place for farmers and those involved in agriculture to stay current on the news, Ag Café could help connect consumers to agriculture. Simonsen says the MSR&PC hopes the information on Ag Café will also serve as a great resource for media.
“We are very excited about the opportunities and connections that will be made through Ag Café,” Simonsen says. “We hope everyone grabs a cup of coffee each morning, stops by Ag Café and stays awhile.”
To learn more about Ag Café visit www.myagcafe.com