First Agricultural Blogger Camp in Münster
Around 100 bloggers, who work and enjoying talking about working in agriculture, met on 16 February in Münster to meet up face-to-face. The Bauernverband Schleswig-Holstein (Farmers’ Association) and the Deutsche Landwirtschafts-Gesellschaft (German Agricultural Society, DLG) organised this event with support from AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG and the Westfälisch-Lippischer Landwirtschaftsverband e.V (Agricultural Association). The farmers were responsible for the meeting.
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They tweet, share, like and are up-to-date on the latest agricultural topics – agricultural bloggers. “Farmer Holti” is known on the scene. He not only presents himself as a pig farmer but also wants to better the image of farming: Together with other farmers, he founded the farmer wiki “Ask a farmer” which gives users an insight into farming. This is proving popular.
Werner Schwarz, Vice President of the Deutscher Bauernverband (German Farmers’ Association), explained in response to the varied criticism of modern farming: “We are willing to work with concerned citizens.” He therefore supports “disarming” campaigns. “We can only communicate with our critics if we do not “arm” ourselves.”
International guests and exciting expert presentations
Camp participants learned about and discussed the basics of presenting information on social media in numerous presentations and workshops. Author Klaus Alfs reported on how to correctly handle hate speech, Professor Matthias Kussin from the Osnabrück Technical University discussed modern storytelling and Thomas Fabry from the “Tierhaltung – modern und transparent” (Modern and Transparent Livestock Farming) organisation reported on SnapChat. Markus Holtkötter and Nadine Henke shared their experience in the area of crisis communication. International guests enjoyed special interest from the attendees. Caroline van den Plas from the Netherlands talked about her experience with Twitter, and Derek Klingenberg from the US described his activities on YouTube.
The bottom line is: Farmers are indispensable. The attending farmers want to raise awareness of this online. They want to have their say and inform and warn the public. The agricultural industry is becoming more and more networked and interconnected at a rapid speed but, at the same time, great value is placed on personal exchanges. Many participants indicated that they would like a follow-up to this meeting.