I met someone once, his name was Scottie Joe. And he started every sentence with, “Wal, Ah’ll tell you whut” and then carried on with whatever he was going to say. He was totally inane and on the far side of pretty worthless but…

…wal, ah’ll tell you whut, the Twitter community of #AgChat is absolutely astounding. I mean, super-de-duper awesome. Wait, am I gushing? It feels like I’m gushing. How embarrassing.

You see, I am new to the weekly online ag gathering. Tonight was only my third attendance, and here I am writing about it already which is like *gasp* kissing a boy on a third date at the ice cream parlor, but I really like it – #AgChat. I’ll even tell you why.

  • Connections with other people who care a lot about the same issues I do. Sometimes it feels like I am one of the few in this little tiny agricultural boat in a sea of Titanic-sized skyscraper, ag-hater steamships. #AgChat reminds me each and every week how many great people there are who are passionate about agriculture and are advocating on behalf of it.
  • Motivation! People from all over North America are brought together for two hours a week, and we talk about ways to be better agvocates, how to handle issues facing agriculture and what we can do to have an impact. We all come from different experiences, and I am constantly impressed with the ideas, thoughts and actions of those participating in #AgChat. It fires me up in the very best way possible.
  • The more I talk about agriculture, discuss my opinions and really think about what I believe and why I believe it, the better equipped I am to speak up in my daily life when opportunities arise to put in a good word for agriculture. I prefer to write (hello, I have a blog…), and I’ve really gotten the hang of the whole Twitter thing, but I’d rather show someone how to pull a calf than try to talk them through it. I still think showing someone agriculture is the best way, but I need to be better at verbalizing because talking opportunities pop up much more often than showing opportunities. #AgChat is helping me with that, no question.

So. What is #AgChat? How does it work? Well, I refer to it as texting online in public. With friends. That’s the totally unsophisticated and mostly unhelpful version, but the #AgChat Conversation Guide by Michele Payn-Knoper will tell you pert near everything you need to know.

The best thing to do though? Just show up. Let your little tweeter-ing fingers fly, and join the conversation. You can even wear your pajamas, sip on hot chocolate and eat sugar cookies, and no one has to know. Who doesn’t want to hang out with their friends and talk about ag?

See you at #AgChat in 2011!

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