Idaho Cattle Convention – Sun Valley, Idaho

Sun Valley Idaho Resort Social Media TrainingI ┬ácan’t believe I’ve let a month go by and haven’t updated the blog on my travels in and around Montana. (So I better catch up!) Work has definitely kept me busy and on the go. But I guess that is a good thing!

In early November, I had the great opportunity to travel to Sun Valley, Idaho to speak at the Idaho Cattle Association’s annual convention. Sun Valley is an extremely nice place in the mountains and home to folks like Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, and Tom Hanks. I certainly couldn’t afford to stay there long, especially during ski season.

The Idaho Cattlemen and women were great hosts as Lauren Chase and I presented 2 different workshops on the value of social media in the cattle community. One of the big questions we address is “Why do ranchers need to be on social media?” There’s a lot of value to being involved in the conversations that are already occurring, both on- and off-line. We would love to be able to direct folks who have food questions to the farmers and ranchers who have the most experience with the issues at hand, but it is kind of difficult if those farmers/ranchers are not making themselves more available to the conversations.

We had a great turnout to our workshops, standing room only both days. It was great to see such interest and interaction with the Idaho ranchers. While at the Convention, we had the opportunity to pull a few folks aside and ask their perspectives on why social media is important in the ranching community. Lauren captured their thoughts in this video.

So I ask you the same question. How can ranchers utilize social media to reach out to consumers who want to engage in conversations about how their beef is raised?

Idaho - The Land of Steak and Potatoes - Agriculture proudly represented at the airport baggage claim!
Idaho – The Land of Steak and Potatoes – Agriculture proudly represented at the airport baggage claim!

The trip also marked the first opportunity for me to board a plane by walking out on the tarmac. Good thing it was decent weather! (I may not have such good luck for this week’s trip, but more on that Thursday.) But it’s something I better get used to here in Montana. Alaska Airlines was great and the boarding process was much easier than the normal jetway on larger planes. I got to fly into Seattle, then to Boise. Both great airports, but I think my favorite part was watching the changes in landscapes. The drive from Boise to Sun Valley was really neat. I’m very glad I got to make the trip and hope to make it back to Idaho sometime. But I was definitely glad to make it back on the ground after an expected windy landing back in Great Falls.

Check out more photos from our #SocialBeef workshops on Facebook! Lauren and I look forward to more opportunities like these workshops in the future!

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Ryan Goodman works in grassroots advocacy with beef cattle farmers and ranchers across the United States. He is a proud alumnus of Oklahoma State University, with studies focusing on cattle reproduction and nutrition. Ryans
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