|Sign at a Southern farm. Photo: moonlightbulb, Flickr
The state recently held a social-media seminar for farmers, a group that's been notably reticent in the tweet department. While experts aren't sure whether to blame spotty network coverage in rural areas or the exhaustive pace of farming for farmers' near-invisibility in Twitterville, they're hoping to encourage growers to join chefs and restaurant owners in promoting their products via online networks.
"Agriculture is starting to recognize the value of social media," says Karlie Justus, public information officer for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
According to Justus, workshop enrollment so exceeded expectations that the class had to be moved to a bigger venue.
"Everyone was really interested," says Justus, whose presentation covered blogging, Facebook, Google alerts and Twitter.
Justus suspects some farmers think their workaday tasks are too mundane to share. She urged them to entice hungry locavores by posting on-the-ground reports.
"Say they're working on these crops today, or putting spray out," she offers as an example.
Although a few farmers have established Facebook accounts, Justus doesn't know of any farmers with an active presence on Twitter. She believes farmers who operate roadside stands could benefit enormously from announcing their daily offerings on Twitter, mixing in promotional deals for customers who visit at a certain time.
And visit they must, because no matter how modern the communication method, there's still no way to tweet a tomato.