Tech-savvy farmers hope to counter images of animal abuse, environmental damage and health problems.
October is a busy month for Kansas farmer Darin Grimm. With 2,000 acres of corn and soybeans to harvest, the third-generation family farmer is running a combine nearly dawn to dusk.
But he still makes time to tweet.
Whether it's touting the benefits of a new fertilizer, sharing photos of a newborn calf, debating genetically modified crops or discussing modern-day hog farming, a growing legion of farmers and ranchers like Grimm are increasingly turning to Facebook, Twitter and personal web blogs to try to connect with consumers, educators and others about agriculture.
"We all eat," says 37-year-old Grimm, who helps run the 18-month-old AgChat Foundation, teaching other farmers how to use online social media to tell their stories to a sometimes skeptical public.