When I started my blog last year I wasn’t really certain that anyone would care to read what I had to say. Of course I had big dreams of people flocking to my blog in mass numbers but honestly I started writing this blog more for myself than for anyone else. Today when I look at my blog numbers I am truly amazed that so many people have taken time out of their day to read my words. Now let’s be honest, it’s not like I am the Pioneer Woman of the dairy world or anything but I am proud of my little blog and continually excited by the opportunities it has opened the doors to.
Today as you read this I am headed to the great, although slightly flat, state of Kansas. When I get there I am going to be doing a few projects for my real job as well as spending time in Hutchinson Kansas at the #140 Conference, State of Now-Smalltown. event. Small Town is an offshoot of the original #140Conf and it’s goal is to use technology to share the stories of small town and rural people who are doing big things and have bright ideas to share with the world. The conference is meant to start conversations and build a community. I am really excited to be a part of this event and I want to share some of my excitement with you because really, you guys are the reason I will be there. Unlike a regular conference there are no Powerpoint presentations allowed because a conversation doesn’t come with slides.
On Thursday morning I am going to get on the stage of the Fox Theater in Hutchinson Kansas and I am going to tell the story of how I had a little idea last fall to try and help some farmers who were suffering in a horrible drought. My little idea turned into 7 semi loads of hay that were distributed, at no cost, to farmers and ranchers in Oklahoma and Texas. But the real story is how those bales were moved by the people here on my blog, the people on my facebook page, the people on twitter. Because the only reason that almost 90 tons of hay went over 1,000 miles from where it was grown was because social media out the wheels on it.
Then on Thursday afternoon I will be joining Janice Person, Jodi Oleen and Debbie Lyons-Blyth, 3 ladies that I really admire and respect for a panel discussion about how the term “Big Ag” gets thrown around and how we are the faces behind “Faceless Big Ag”.
I of course wish you could all be there in Hutchinson when I present so that I could look out into the crowd and see the faces of my friends that have made all of this happen but the reality is that people have jobs and Kansas isn’t right down the road from many of you. However there is a way you can join in, on Thursday you can tune in to the Ustream channel for the conference by clicking HERE any time during the day on Thursday and watch my fellow speakers and I present live from the comfort of your own home, office or barn. I will be on speaking about the hay drive at 10:45am CT and our panel discussion will be on stage at 2:30pm CT but you can see the whole day’s schedule for talks by clicking HERE. I know I am as excited to hear everyone else speak about their topics as I am nervous to stand up on the stage myself.