March of 2009 was a big month for me. It was the month I left my 20's behind and said hello to 30, embarked on my two-year AFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee adventure, and welcomed my baby daughter into the world.
I also tweeted for the very first time:
It may take a little time, but I plan on using Twitter to keep folks regularly updated about the goings-on at Gilmer Dairy Farm...follow me!— Will Gilmer (@gilmerdairy) March 11, 2009
I didn't have great expectations for Twitter at the time, or at least not my usage of it. The thought of sharing short bursts of farm info was intriguing, but I didn't think you folks would find my tweets as interesting or useful as my blog or my farm's Facebook page. Once I figured out that I could post real-time updates via text on my Razr v3 flip-phone, though, both my follower count and my own interest began to rise. I upgraded to a smartphone within a couple of months, and my new-found ability to interact with other Twitter users while in the milking barn or in a tractor cab encouraged me to tweet even more frequently.
So now here I sit, five years and a little over 20k tweets later, and I wonder what kind of impact I've made. As I stated in my very first tweet, my goal was to let you know about life on my family's farm, and that still remains the primary focus of all I do online. There are other farmers that interact with and influence far more people than I do (give 'em props), but there's nobody else that does it exactly like me and I'm pretty dang proud of that. I might not have posted or tweeted a single thing in the last five years that has helped shape your point of view on food or farming, but I've had fun trying!
Whether you follow me on Twitter, regularly read this blog, watch my farm videos on YouTube, or "like" our Facebook page, I sincerely want to thank you for taking the time to learn more about me and my family's dairy farm. I continue to welcome your comments and questions, and I hope my social-sharing style helps you feel more connected to both your glass of milk and to the farmer keeping a steady hand on the udder.