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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?

Photo of Meena

Christen! Did you know you got retweeted by Fast Company's Bruce Nussbaum for this gem???! Nice one.

Photo of Christen

Wow!! Thanks so much for the heads up, Meena! :) Very cool!

Photo of Sarah

Interesting concept and pretty easy to implement. Good job Christen!
I like the fact that you included Twitter in this, maybe Facebook or Foursquare could also be added?

Photo of Christen

Thank you for your comment, Sarah! Facebook and Foursquare would be a "go" for sure! I was not aware of Foursquare prior to the construction of my concept - it looks to be a perfect partnership. I also appreciate that the ease of interaction would be maintained without becoming overly complicated. Great suggestions!

Photo of Amanda

I love the integration of social media in this, and agree with Sarah that it could go beyond Twitter. Since Twitter's users are generally older than your target audience, I think integrating more social platforms would encourage more widespread use. A Foursquare badge would be an awesome incentive, mayorships are becoming more and more fought after, and they are starting to integrate more visuals. Have you heard of Foodspotting? That could be a cool partnership as well: http://www.foodspotting.com (Share a food you recommend or see what others have recommended near you, could work for Farmer's market goodies!)

Photo of Christen

Thank you for your comment, Amanda! Yes, I agree - this concept could indeed go beyond Twitter. (This being my starting point, I can now see a myriad of more possibilities connecting to other platforms in technology.) We are living in very exciting times! Your suggestion of a Foursquare badge and partnership with Foodspotting, was over the top! I am looking into both of these, as they are an exact fit of the dynamic I was envisioning.