Friday, September 14, 2012

Where Farmers Meet!

The Social Side of the Outdoor Farm Show

Once a year, farmers from across the globe make the trek to Woodstock Ontario to participate in Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show.  The show offers "one stop shopping" for farmers and highlights the most innovative and technologically advanced agricultural products and services available. For those who went, it was well worth the visit.

With approximately 50 acres of exhibit space, and over 700 acres, it’s a lot to cover in one day so comfortable walking shoes are an absolute must!

 An exciting trend this year is the increased use of social media with not only the show exhibitors, but with the many folks who came out to enjoy the show.

There are thousands of farmers who use Twitter to connect, and this year’s show was no exception.  Many Twitter users used the show as an opportunity to connect with others in “real life”, and to finally put a smile to a name.  The hashtag #cofs2012 was created, to allow Twitter uses to follow conversations on Twitter and find out real time updates during the show.

Exhibitors got in on the action as well. Many of them used Twitter to announce free giveaways or to draw folks to their booth with interactive contests. Others used Facebook to share photos and stories from farmers around the globe.

 Many farmers now consider their smartphone to be an important agricultural tool, and it was evident at the show that technology firms are taking note.  From livestock management systems, to agricultural calculators the smartphone has become a personal computer on the go.

In a way, the Outdoor Farm Show is the aggies version of the CNE – a sign that summer is coming to an end and fall is at hand.  Harvests are in full swing, and for many farmers it was a chance to connect and learn more about the advancements in agriculture.

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