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"Adopt A Grower": Students and Growers Unite!

My concept, "Adopt a Grower," would be a large-scale effort centered on a school assembly program featuring agricultural growers as keynote speakers, an interactive, multimedia presentation spotlighting industry challenges, and a follow-up strategy implemented through Twitter. I propose that we create a sense of partnership between growers and consumers through focusing on human-centered interaction, and building a rapport between farmers, students, and the community. “Adopt a Grower” would afford students the opportunity to connect and dialogue with local people who are directly involved in the agricultural industry at large, and it would cultivate a dynamic sense of participation between producer and consumer, starting at an early age.

Photo of Christen  Otter
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Tackling global challenges such as energy use, transportation, biodiversity, food security, and the health of rural economies can seem daunting. But, when the scope of focus is narrowed from a macro-lens down to a local level, the impact can then be felt on the home front.



By dialoguing with local growers, students would have a greater depth of understanding of the human experience and real-world backstory behind corporate dynamics. The open, relational Q&A format of “Adopt a Grower” would be key to fostering a mindset of mutual environmental and economical stewardship in students, thus building confidence in them to broach challenging issues before they hit 25.



To keep the ball rolling post-assembly, local farmer’s markets and schools would network together through Twitter, and teachers would design assignments geared for students take note of:

1.) What farmer's markets are specific to their area, (or area closest to them.)



2.) Interviewing growers to see what the "local favorites" are, and what produce is specific to the geographic region.



3.) Students post their findings on Twitter.

 

Friends and family would also be encouraged to jump in, but the idea being to engage students as consumers and active participants.

 

The networking structure would require:

1.) Participating farmer's markets to set up a Twitter account.



2.) Participating students and teachers to set up their own accounts for Twitter. Teachers would create a class Twitter list for "Adopt A Grower" Tweets, and students would need to include the Twitter username of the Farmer's Market, the class hashtag, and the "AdoptAGrower" hashtag.



For example:



"@NoFrills sale on strawberries 2day! #AdoptAGrower #classhashtag"



"Found yummy pickled beets n 2die4 hummus @HandsMarket #AdoptAGrower #classhashtag"

 

"Adopt A Grower" would afford a real-world experience for young people of to how give back to their community through leveraging social media to boost the local economy and celebrating natural, agricultural resources. By growers opening up the dialogue with the educational community through assemblies, they would be spreading awareness of global challenges, while simultaneously building a local rapport that would create reciprocal benefits for their business.

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Photo of Vincent

Interesting idea Christen. Thought you might be interested in how farmers are already currently using Twitter (since 2009, ~10K people in 10 countries have used the hashtag #agchat to get advice, share ideas, discuss issues, etc., all related to farming & food) as profiled in this Good Magazine article: http://bit.ly/iTgYk3 . Perhaps these preexisting behaviors can be broadened for your type of concept?

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