Frequently Asked Questions
What is Beyond the Farm Gate?
The program funded in Georgia, Colorado and Texas equipped beginning farmers and ranchers (BFRs) with the knowledge to utilize online marketing tools necessary to make informed marketing decisions to promote their agricultural operations. The program encouraged farmers and ranchers to utilize social media sites that include but are not limited to, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, blogs, wikis, and photo sharing sites.
How did the Beyond the Farm Gate project work?
The program provideed seminars in each host state that discussed the benefits of utilizing social media. These seminars provided producers with tips about navigating social media as well as how to get the most out of their experience with any sort of social media site.
Why should I become involved?
Beyond the Farm Gate provides newly established producers with the tools necessary to market their products through social media outlets. The popularity of social media has grown rapidly in the last few years and has the potential to serve as an outlet for producers to promote their products.
Who benefited from the Beyond the Farm Gate project?
Producers were the direct beneficiaries of the information that Beyond the Farm Gate can provide. Social media requires little- to-no cost, information can be published instantaneously, and there are no editors, publishers, or news directors to block the information. Many agricultural producers are using social media to promote agriculture, showcase their businesses, market products, or educate the public about the rural/agricultural lifestyle, but there are still many producers who need guidance with the technology.
I hear these tools change often, how will I stay up-to-date?
This website was updated throughout the life of the project (through 2014). A list of trustworthy and continually updated resources are still available on this website, even beyond the life of this project.
Why should I learn how to use social media or other online media for my farm business?
Consumers trust farmers more than most types of people when it comes to learning about their food. Farmers and consumers have typically been unable to connect directly, but with online media, that connection is possible.
Social media tools are a free way for a young business to promote their product, share insights into their farming practices, expand into new markets, sustain relationships with customers, and help others –whether they be other farms, organizations, friends, or customers—promote your farm and/or products through their social networks that now exist online.
In the past few years, several social media sites have grown rapidly and provide an excellent resource for business aiming to connect to local publics and consumers for little-to-no-cost.
What are the top social media tools you suggest I use?
Below is a list of some of the post popular tools for agricultural businesses. To learn about more social media tools and how to use them, be sure to visit our Learn page. Additionally, attending one of our workshops will allow you to get personalized information and advice for integrating these tools for use in your business.
- Facebook – a social networking service with more than 845 million active users. Businesses can create “pages” for consumers to follow and then regularly update these followers with pertinent sales or information.
- Twitter – a social networking and microblogging service, users are able to post messages of up to 140 characters known as “tweets.” With more than 140 million active users, Twitter has become a recognized tool for networking and connecting with other businesses and consumers.
- YouTube – a video-sharing website where users can upload, view or share videos. Videos include movie and TV clips, as well as amateur content such as video blogging and short original videos. Recently, YouTube has become the second-most frequently used search engine, after Google.
- Pinterest – a visual social bookmarking site where users "pin" their favorite photos of food, events, interests and hobbies. Pinterest is now the third largest social network behind Facebook and Twitter.
Social Media Marketing Success Story