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  CALIFORNIA RANCHER TALKS TWITTER WITH TEXANS
 
By: Taylor Cooper, Harmony FFA
July 11, 2012

 
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Jeff Fowle may be from California, but he is a true country boy with a passion for agriculture that he is happy to share with others, albeit through a not-so-traditional medium.

Fowle lives with his wife and son on a large ranch in Etna, Calif. He is an army veteran, former ag teacher and curriculum designer, and today owns and operates a diverse production ranch. When he is not busy with his Angus cattle, Percheron horses or vast fields of Alfalfa hay, Fowle enjoys traveling the country to share with audiences his belief in a new innovation for agriculture and business - social media.

Fowle, who calls himself an “agvocate”, spoke yesterday afternoon to convention attendees about the future of agriculture and how it relates, or even depends on the utilization of social media.

“We need to look ahead,” says Fowle, “social media presents the biggest opportunity to reach customers we as agriculturists have ever had.” Fowle himself actively engages in the use of several social media outlets, even claiming that he “tweets from his tractor”. In his experience, Fowle has discovered that communicating and networking are essential parts of business.

“Successful businesses have good people skills,” Fowle tells his audiences, many of which have included the chief executives of large corporations such as Chevron and British Petroleum. However, Fowle does warn against getting too caught up in the “media” and forgetting the “social.” He emphasizes the need to have conversations and be personal with customers in order to better understand the will of the market.

In addition to the importance of social media, Fowle also stresses the inevitable need to “celebrate diversity” in agriculture. Citing common controversies such as pink slime or growth hormones in cattle, Fowle disagrees with opponents of such production stating that, “Someone will buy [the product]. Producers need to recognize that there will always be a market.”

Ultimately, Fowle is a farmer, content with his own decisions and happy to share his knowledge and experiences with others, hoping above all to deliver this message to his audiences: “Be yourself. Be real. Be genuine. Be social.”
 
 
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