Government accountability in 2011

Hoard's Dairyman: 

Government accountability in 2011

Date: 
Wed, 03/23/2011

Want to know what the administrator of the EPA is up to today?

In the past few months, it has become evident that many farmers, agricultural organizations, and agribusinesses have become suspect of the EPA’s intentions to interfere with business-as-usual. Sometimes, we’d all like to know, “Just what are they thinking?” For today, here’s your answer:

lisapjackson: “I'm visiting farms in California's San Joaquin Valley today to talk with farmers and other members of the agricultural community.”

That’s right. Mrs. Jackson is on farms right now according to her Twitter status. One of the great things about Twitter, unlike Facebook and many other social media applications, is that there is no login required to view much of the information.

Want to know what your Congressman or Senators are up to? Unfortunately rural legislators, like a proportional number of their constituents, are slow to gravitate to the Twitter feed. But Mashable.com (a social media news website) has compiled the current list. At the web page mashable.com/twitterlists/list/tweetcongress/congress/ you will find the latest tweets (updates) via Twitter for those who oblige. By clicking on the “Members” tab, you will see the 149 active users in the U.S. House and Senate.

Neither the current House Agriculture Committee chairman Frank Lucas (R – Okla.) nor ranking member Collin Peterson (D – Minn.) use Twitter. On the Senate Agriculture Committee, both chair Debbie Stabenow (@stabenow and @StabenowPress) and ranking member Pat Roberts (@SenPatRoberts) keep in touch through 140 characters or less. Both agriculture committees have committee-specific Twitter feeds (@HouseAgNews and @SenateAg).

As for USDA, there are many different “handles” to follow, including @USDA, @USDA_APHIS, @USDA_ERS, et cetera. To look for any of this instant information or find more, simply go to Twitter.com and type something in the search box. To go directly to a Twitter profile page, follow this format: www.twitter.com/USDA

Twitter also uses number symbols (#) as “hashtags” to signify a range of things people might find interesting. For example, two with relevant information are #ag and #dairy.

Interested? Have too much time on your hands? Check out Mashable.com’s twitter guidebook at www.mashable.com/guidebook/twitter Good luck and happy tweeting!

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