Whether it involves Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or other avenues, the agriculture community needs to communicate with a diverse audience about its role in food production.

The Center for Food Integrity has created a web-based resource to encourage farmers to use new media forums to connect with a population that has little understanding of today’s food system. It’s called the Farmer Resource Center (cfiengage.com) and it offers a variety of tools and advice to farmers and others in the food system who want to engage with peers and the media on food-related topics.

 “Our research tells us consumers are increasingly turning to online sources for information about the food system,” says Jim Fallon, representing CFI. “But they also receive information from friends and family, their local TV station, newspapers and radio as well. This website offers tools and advice for farmers and food system leaders to use to engage with consumers via all of these sources.”

The website serves as a central online resource for people wanting to correct misinformation or just join the national conversation on food-related topics. It offers messaging

and materials as well as best practices for engaging with consumers.

There’s also a Social Media Help Desk that offers social media support and assistance. You can reach the help desk directly at (877) 402-4234 or via e-mail at helpdesk@foodintegrity.org.  You will receive help in responding to news articles or setting up online tools, such as blogs and Facebook pages.

 “We encourage everyone in the food system to monitor local sources of information and be ready to make your voice heard,” Fallon says. “When there are inaccuracies, be prepared to tell your story and present truthful information so consumers can see another side of the story.”