Our telecon with AgWired’s Chuck Zimmerman

This week’s blog post is a required post for my class.  Last week we had a teleconference with AgWired’s founder Chuck Zimmerman during which he gave his background and how he started out in agriculture media and AgWired.  Mr. Zimmerman definitely has one of the most interesting backgrounds I’ve heard, most of which is available to read about on AgWired.

One topic covered by Chuck was how communication and journalism changed over his career.  I know since I was a kid, things have changed immensely, so it has changed even more so for him.  When I returned from my 15-month deployment to Iraq in late-2008, technology had absolutely exploded.  I was asked by Verizon if I wanted “2G” with my new phone.  The salesperson looked at me like I was a complete idiot when I asked, “Why on earth do I need internet on my phone??”  Prior to leaving for Iraq, using the internet on your phone was the absolute scariest and most expensive proposition for me (and probably anyone without a lot of money).  Plus, I couldn’t imagine needing the internet so badly that I required it on my phone and always available.  Ignorance is bliss—I don’t know what I did without internet at my fingertips now!  Sad.

During his 30+-year career, Chuck has seen some of the greatest advancements in technology, particularly with social media.  He started out in agriculture radio broadcast after college and now operates one of the first agriculture blogs that he and his wife founded in 2004.  Chuck embraced the changes by generating AgWired, which has been one of the most successful tools in social media for agribusinesses in the United States.  This has been incredible for farmers as well, especially as a younger generation that is certainly more technologically savvy and can take even greater advantage of social media.  The younger generations are where I see the greatest impact going forward are.  Also and in this, everyone from large agribusinesses and small, family-owned farms alike will continue to utilize social media to grow their businesses.  It will continue to become easier and easier for consumers to connect with the businesses that provide everything from food to clothing.

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