If a farmer or farm family isn’t quite confident enough with technology to use it to advocate for farming, the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) is offering engAGe, a free app designed to make the process easier. There’s even a 36-page how to guide to get you going. USFRA board member and Wisconsin farmer Nancy Kavazanjian says farmers need to engage with people who don’t know what’s happening on their farm.
“We know that people like farmers and ranchers,” she said. “They’re not sure they like what we’re doing on the farm, but when we can show them that what we do is good for the environment, that we care about the water and the soil and our animals, then we can really connect with them. So, we try to do that by advocating and showing them and raising our voices about what’s going on on the farms and ranches today.”
The engAGe app shows you current news and stories and if you would like to share them it just takes a click.
“For instance, I’m on four different social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, and I can share one story across all of those platforms very easily.”
And if you would like to share your own story from the farm?
“It goes both ways,” she explains. “There are the stories you can share that have been placed there so you can keep up to date on the news, or if you’ve got a news story we haven’t seen, absolutely. And sometimes if you just have a question and want to engage with other farmers and ranchers, that’s why we call it the engAGe app.”
Kavazanjian’s 90-year-old mother is on Facebook and she says farmers are too. But, it’s important to use that and other platforms to their fullest extent promoting agriculture.
“I want to see those personal stories about how they care, how they care about their animals, how they care about the soil, and the water that runs through their property, and the air over their farms. Our research shows that’s what non-farmers want to know. We have to close that rural-urban divide and show them that what we’re doing today on the farm in modern agriculture is good for everybody.”
Here’s how to engAGe:
Users can access the engAGe app through a browser or on your mobile device. We recommend downloading the app so you can engAGe from anywhere.
- To join on a desktop, or simply sign up online, visit: engage.fooddialogues.com
- To download in iTunes, click here.
- To download in Google Play, click here.
To download the app, follow these instructions:
- In both iTunes and Google Play, search for “Dynamic Signal”
- Download the app
- Once you download and open the app, the app will prompt you to enter the engAGe community code. The community code is: engage (not case sensitive).
Once you type in the community code, you will have access to the engAGe platform.