Producer’s Digital Toolbox Coming Your Way

Businesses everywhere are beginning to incorporate smartphone, I-Pad, social media and digital technology into their business and marketing plans. Agriculture and rural businesses are no different. Social media has seen an even greater increase. According to Nielson, people in the U.S. continue to spend more time on social networking and blog sites, with total minutes increasing 210% year-over-year and the average time per person increasing 143% year-over-year from December 2009.

With this huge increase of technology use by the public, it will be important for farmers and rural businesses to have the knowledge and skills to incorporate it into their business and marketing plans. Examples of on farm applications include:

– Registering farms on national listservs for easy consumer access – such as Google maps, Map Quest, Bing etc.
– Social media site for farm markets including events and announcements
– Smartphone apps for commodity prices, credit card purchases, weather, GPS and more

The Producer’s Digital Toolbox is a suite of seminars that will be offered at several venues starting in April 2012. These seminars will assist University of Maryland Extension clients in capitalizing on the hardware and management systems tools now available through the Web.

These seminars will cover topics on:

· Digital Databases Getting Your Business Listed – how to enter their business information in the 8-9 digital databases, such as Google Maps and others.
· Fingertip Marketing for Portable Devices and Apps – incorporating digital service and application into your marketing plan.
· Social & Professional Applications – An introduction to the basics of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for businesses. This seminar will explore basic fundamentals of popular social networking sites, examples of use, and the potential benefits social media could bring to your business and community.

The cost is $40.00 per person which includes lunch and course materials. You must pre-register! No walk-ins will be accepted. To register (see dates and locations below) go to: http://agnradmin.umd.edu/training/description.cfm?ID=179

Seminar locations (for more details go to – http://www.agmarketing.umd.edu/Documents/DigitalToolboxFlyer.pdf ) :

April 10, 2012 (8:00 AM – 1:30 PM)
WOR-WIC Community College, Building: Workforce Development Center (WDC), Room #: WDC 304, 32000 Campus Dr., Salisbury, MD 21804
Registration Deadline: April 1, 2012

April 20, 2012 (8:00 AM – 1:30 PM)
Chesapeake College, Economic Development Center, Room #: EDC-27, Routes 50 & 213, Wye Mills, MD 21679
Registration Deadline: April 11, 2012

May 10, 2012 (8:00 AM – 1:30 PM)
Hagerstown Community College, Career Programs Building, Room #: CPB142, 11400 Robinwood Dr., Hagerstown, MD 21742
Registration Deadline: May 1, 2012

May 15, 2012 (8:00 AM – 1:30 PM).
Cecil College – North East Campus, Elkton Station, Room #: Room 303, One Seahawk Dr., North East, MD 21901
Registration Deadline: May 6, 2012

For more information about this program please contact: Shannon Dill (sdill@umd.edu) Ginger S. Myers (gsmyers@umd.edu), Jonathan Kays (jkays@umd.edu)

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