Getting the scoop on food and farming straight from the source

The Internet is a wonderful thing.

It brings the world to our fingertips, regardless of where we might be.

However, it also makes easier than ever before to spread rumours, misinformation and half-truths.

And there’s a lot of that floating around out there – in both new and conventional media – about agriculture and what happens on our farms.

We also have a consuming public that is more and more curious (and likely rightly so) about where our food is coming from.

So where do you go to learn more? And how do you separate fact from fiction?

I think I’m one of the lucky ones.

Through my work, I have the chance to visit many different farms and talk directly to farmers on an ongoing basis.

Nothing beats seeing for yourself how farmers do their jobs and why they do what they do. Unfortunately, that’s not an option available to most people.

My recommendation is to turn to Twitter and start interacting directly with the farmers who produce our food.

Many are active tweeters who would be more than happy to answer questions and share information.

A great resource to get you started is the Follow Farmer list, brainchild of Ohio farmer Mike Haley (@farmerhaley), which contains more than 400 names of folks involved in agriculture. You can learn more @followfarmer.

Another great venue for interaction is AgChat (@agchat), created and moderated by Michelle Payn-Knoper (@mpaynknoper). AgChat is a weekly (Tuesdays 8-10 pm ET) conversation for folks involved in the business of growing food, fuel, feed and fiber.

Every third Tuesday of the month the focus switches to Foodchat, with discussion around food-related issues.

So, if you’re curious, have questions and want to know more – go straight to the source to get your answers. Start following, start interacting and let the conversations and the learning begin!

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