15 Tips from BloggyCon

I recently had the opportunity to attend my very first blogger conference. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I am not a “mommy blogger” nor do I sell stuff through my blog. Nonetheless I signed up, and off I went to Sandusky, Ohio for my first BloggyCon.

Below I wanted to share some of the best takeaways for me. These are things I hope to continue doing, start doing, or do better in the future.

  1. Podcasts – keep them between 10 and 15 minutes.
  2. Present yourself – what is your story? Everyone has a story. Be real and share your story.
  3. Take the time to work on content and schedule it, then it frees up time for other things and helps remove the guilt about not posting regularly.
  4. Perfection is the enemy of production – sometimes you just have to jump into the deep end and go with it.
  5. Don’t be afraid to go back to old blog poststhat are performing well and re-purpose them into additional or follow-ups posts, podcasts, webinars, etc.
  6. The ideal  blog post should take 7 minutes or less to read and be 500-750 words with pictures.
  7. Solve a problem for your audience. If you have a talent or skill make a video and share it. “How to” videos on YouTube are tremendously popular.
  8. Use the YouTube thumbnails when posting a video.
  9. Do not spend more than 15 to 30 minutes editing a video. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.
  10. You don’t have to have expensive equipment to produce a good product.
  11. Facebook Live videos are being prioritized over other content… Be there.
  12. Go live for 10-15 minutes on Facebook Live.
  13. Use good keywords and do not ever include a hashtag in a Pinterest post.
  14. Blog post titles should be around 60 characters
  15. Take advantage of internal linking. Go back through old posts and link in newer stuff (and vice versa) that you have written that relates to it.

This conference focused a lot on monetizing your blog, which is something I cannot do at this point. However, I learned a lot at BloggyCon and need to spend a day or two going through my social networks making various changes. I also met some great ladies that I look forward to keeping in touch with, and will perhaps see again someday. And to top it off, the location for this conference was fantastic.

Have you ever attended a blogging or social media conference? If so, which one was it?


Dr. Lindsay can also be found on:

– Twitter/Instagram (agwithdrlindsay)
Facebook
Pinterest

 

Gene-editing: Improved animal welfare and food security?

I recently came across an article from the Progressive Dairyman magazine called Gene-editing tool could improve animal welfare and food security written by Holly Drankhan. I would strongly encourage reading it as it talks about some emerging technology that not only can make great advancements in animal welfare, but also help potentially make cattle more efficient in milk production and rebreeding.

Additionally, CRISPR technology differs from the technology used to created genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and it is important to understand the differences.

As quoted from the article:  “In the same way that spell-check identifies and corrects single-letter errors in a word or grammar errors in a sentence, gene editing can be used to identify and change the letters that make up the genetic code within an individual,” wrote Alison Van Eenennaam, an animal genomics and biotechnology cooperative extension specialist for the University of California – Davis Department of Animal Science, in an eXtension article published in 2015.

One of the major benefits of this CRISPR technology is creating cattle without horns (polled) which greatly increases safety for other animals and people. Check out the video here:

Where else could CRISPR technology be used?

**Note: no compensation was received for this post. I just believe the information was worth sharing.


Dr. Lindsay can also be found on:

– Twitter/Instagram (agwithdrlindsay)
Facebook
Pinterest

Technology: Reflecting on successes and challenges

What if I told you that some of the best scientists in the world have come up with amazing technology? Technology that could potentially save lives? Technology that could decrease water and pesticide use? Technology that would help people make a better living for themselves and their families?

Hopefully you are asking yourself why this technology is not being used? Or maybe you are thinking, get this technology into the hands of the people who can use it most.

Unfortunately, this technology is hung up in the regulatory process. Unrealistic timelines and costs to bring this technology to fruition…

This technology is biotechnology. You may be most familiar with biotechnology when a Vitamin A fortified rice (aka Golden Rice) was created or when biotechnology saved the papaya industry in Hawaii.

To better grasp these opportunities and challenges, check out 20 Years of Innovation: Reflecting on Successes and Challenges of Biotech Crops by Craig Rickard, executive director for plant biotechnology at CropLife International.

**Note: I am not receiving any compensation for this post. I just find the information very relevant and informative.


Dr. Lindsay can also be found on:

– Twitter/Instagram (agwithdrlindsay)
Facebook
Pinterest

National Ag week… 5 reasons to thank a consumer

This is National Ag Week, with March 18 being Ag Day, a day to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture.

While I could spend the time today sharing with you how great I think agriculture is, and how much I adore the people who grow or raise agricultural products, I will not. Instead I want to celebrate the consumer – the user of the agricultural products.

Consumers are essential for agriculture. They buy agricultural products (i.e. meat, milk, fuel, pharmaceutical/medical supplies, fruits, vegetables, seeds, byproducts of the various ag enterprises, and more). While survival on this planet would be difficult (impossible) without agriculture, we are in this together – consumers and farmers/ranchers.

Some of the specific things I want to thank the consumers for:

1. Making food sexy and fun again. The “foodie” movement has allowed for persons to look at and taste food in a whole new light. People from all walks-of-life are enjoying trying new dishes, new flavor and texture combinations, and new venues (i.e. food trucks) for getting their food. As someone who loves food from all corners of the earth, I love that this is happening, and so do my taste buds.

food collage
A variety of foods that I got to eat in Austin, TX… Yum!

2. Showing interest in agriculture. There has been a lot of renewed interest in knowing how food is grown or raised. People want that connection with their food; and I think that is great. Farmers and ranchers know what they do is awesome, I mean not everyone gets to witness the miracle of an animal birth(s), look out over a crop that was grown by your own hands, or sit upon a horse who helps you get your daily work done. While consumers may not be able to do these things, they want a chance to experience them.

3. Questioning agriculture. You will probably hear farmers and ranchers say they do something because that is the way it has always been done. In agriculture there is so much risk involved, that farmers and ranchers are afraid to make drastic changes without knowing the outcome, or without having an incentive for their investment. Consumers are starting to question farmers and ranchers about why they do the things they do. While this has come with some growing pains from farmers and ranchers, ultimately it has helped identify areas where changes can and should be made. Things can and will be better as a result of it.

4. Establishing relationships with your local agriculturalists. I am seeing/hearing/reading about more and more relationships developing between consumers and farmers/ranchers. Consumers can put a face to their food. They are getting to meet the people who grow or raise their food, either where the food is sold, via a farm/ranch tour, or a field day on a farm/ranch. Farmers and ranchers are generally surprised that someone wants to see how they plant a crop, how they move livestock to another pasture, or how they harvest grain – but consumers want to see/read/listen about these things, and they want the farmer/rancher to explain it to them. Shared agricultural experiences, between a consumer and a farmer/rancher, are becoming more and more popular.

Bently Ranch
Shared learning about agriculture!

5. Increased transparency. Consumers want to know the ins-and-outs of how their food was grown or raised. Until recently, this was not something that many people really cared about, and farmers/ranchers being the private people they are, never shared that information… until now. More and more farmers/ranchers/ and agriculturalists are taking to social media to share the ag story. To share what they do on a daily basis, and to bring the farm or ranch to the masses who can’t go to the farm or ranch.

Growing and raising food is a hard job that is not for the faint of heart, but there is a renewed interest in food production. This is a great time to be an agriculturalist and a consumer!

Bridgeport_final
Cows grazing on pasture int he Sierra Nevada Mountains.

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Dr. Lindsay can also be found on:

– Website (http://food.unl.edu/ag-and-food)
– Twitter/Instagram (agwithdrlindsay)
– Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/agwithdrlindsay)
– Pinterest (Lindsay Chichester-Medahunsi)

BOOSTing your online presence: Is it worth it?

I have been wanting to boost/promote a post on my Facebook page and I finally did it. I don’t know why I waited so long (over a year), but I wanted to share my trial run with you.

I recently wrote a blog post on 21 Conversations you should have with your butcher. It was shared in my normal areas: Facebook page, personal Facebook profile, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google+. I decided this was the post to boost/promote on Facebook.

I selected my audience: friends of friends (I thought that would be a good simple place to start) – men and women, I selected my budget ($5 – just wanted to test the waters), I selected it to target people with the interests of meat and cooking, and I selected the USA as my target country. It said it would run for 24 hours (I started it at 2:56 p.m.) – which seemed like a very fair amount of time for the amount I paid, and it told me the range of people I could expect my $5 to target (over 1,000!).

Facebook statistics indicated this post reached 1,125 with my payment and 156 organically (or though my own promotional efforts). Facebook indicated there were 38 likes, comments, and shares as well as 35 post clicks. 80% of those views were women with the majority in the 25-44 age range and 20% were men in the 45-64 age range. My Facebook page also received eight new likes and my blog had two new likes during this campaign.

My WordPress stats indicated that this blog post is now the 10th most popular (viewed) post — and it is only 1 week old!

I thought my first time boosting/promoting a post went great. I would definitely do it again for targeted posts, this isn’t something I would want to do every single time I do a post, but there are some posts that are better than others and should be boosted/promoted. And next time I will expand my reach and try some new things, and maybe expand my budget a little.

facebook promotion screenshot_cropped
Screenshot from my Facebook page…

Have you boosted/promoted a post? How did it work out for you? What would you do differently next time?

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Dr. Lindsay can also be found on:

– Website (http://food.unl.edu/ag-and-food)
– Twitter/Instagram (agwithdrlindsay)
– Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/agwithdrlindsay)
– Pinterest (Lindsay Chichester-Medahunsi)

Do you know where your food comes from?…Take the quiz

Recently on one of my social media platforms I was thanking farmers and ranchers for raising/growing our food in these cold and snowy conditions – because it is not easy. An non-agricultural person told me that we should only raise food in moderate climates, where weather conditions were not as severe and hard on livestock. While that may seem like an ideal situation, it is unrealistic, as in those climates there are also large populations, extreme temperatures (heat and humidity), and unpredictable weather events (i.e. hurricanes, drought, etc.).

The Washington Post has put up a fun interactive map where you can see and guess if you know where food is raised in the U.S. Find that map here. I think these maps do a great job illustrating that our food has to come from all over. Certain agricultural products do best if raised in certain climates. One climate cannot grow or support all of these foods.

I got an 11 of 12, the last one threw me for a loop. How did you do? Was it easy or hard?

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Dr. Lindsay can also be found on:

– Website (http://food.unl.edu/ag-and-food)
– Twitter/Instagram (agwithdrlindsay)
– Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/agwithdrlindsay)
– Pinterest (Lindsay Chichester-Medahunsi)

Genetically Engineered (GE) Animals: Benefits to human health?

Several pieces of media have crossed my path on the genetic engineering (GE) of animals. I have a folder started with these types of things, but I thought I would just start making them available online for all of you too, in case we ever need to reference them.

Please take the time to read and listen to these stories. Do GE animals have the potential to provide human health benefits? To provide benefits to other animals? Or to protect our natural resources?

Listen to Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam, U.C. Davis Cooperative Extension Specialist – Animal Genomics and Biology, discuss GE animals via UNL Market Journal.

Ebola cure may come from GE cattle – Wow, wouldn’t that be amazing?!

The release of GE mosquitoes may help protect against diseases like Dengue and Chikungunya, as well as decrease overall mosquito populations – but is the concern of being bitten by a genetically modified organism greater than the potential benefits?

I am excited to see where the science and technology of genetic engineering will go; there is tremendous potential and we are just in the infancy stages. I also believe research needs to continue to ensure if and when these projects come to fruition they are safe.

Do these stories excite you or make you nervous? If you had a magic wand, what would genetically engineered animals do for you?

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Dr. Lindsay can also be found on:

– Website (http://food.unl.edu/ag-and-food)
– Twitter/Instagram (agwithdrlindsay)
– Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/agwithdrlindsay)
– Pinterest (Lindsay Chichester-Medahunsi)