Tonight: Agriculture Experts Discuss Organic Market

With Spring on the horizon, America’s farmers are gearing up for a prosperous summer season. But as new products gain visibility and distribution into larger markets and the growing organic food movement shifts consumers’ spending habits, I’m left to wonder how agriculture will be affected in the long run.

Lucky for me–and anyone else whose looking for clarity on the subject–five leaders in American agriculture are joining the webshow EcoChat tonight for a discussion about sustainable food systems and the future of American agriculture. Take a look at their profiles and follow them on twitter:

@FAMILYFARMED Jim Slama is a social entrepreneur as the Founder and President of FAMILYFARMED.ORG. He’s currently gearing up for the 5th annual Family Farmed Expo at the University of Illinois at Chicago March 11-13.

@MPAYNKNOPER Michele Payn-Knoper is the founder of two popular, weekly moderated Twitter chats, #agchat and #foodchat. She speaks professionally about agriculture, food, nutrition and social media as the voice behind CAUSE MATTERS CORP.

@FAIRFOODFIGHT Barth Anderson is the chief blogger at FAIR FOOD FIGHT, a social networking site dedicated to connecting eaters, growers, and sellers of fair, sustainable food. He brings twenty years of experience in natural foods to the discussion.

@CORNFEDFARMER Brandon Hunnicutt is a 4th generation Nebraska farmer specializing in corn, soybeans, and popcorn. He’s beginning his 13th year on the land and enjoys playing a little Wii with his kids every now and then.

@FOLLOWNATHAN Nathan Winters spent five months traveling the country on a bicycle to meet America’s farmers. He documented this amazing trip at FOLLOWNATHAN.ORG and is currently writing a book about this adventure.

In addition to discussing the future of American agriculture, the show will take questions from viewers about any food-related topic and provide practical advice to consumers about how to engage in their local food communities, says Alicia Ontiveros, EcoChat host.

“We want to empower consumers by educating them about the value of different produce options and connecting them with food producers in our country,” says Ontiveros, “Yes, there are farmer’s markets, but there are also co-ops and other models of community supported agriculture that many people don’t know about.”

The show is powered by a new web event platform called Vokle. Viewers anywhere can simply watch the show online, or log in with a Twitter or Vokle account to chat in real time with other participants and submit video and text questions to guests. Vokle also offers the option for green content providers to embed the live program on their websites for free.

Viewers can tune-in on Monday, March 8th, at 8PM CST by visiting ecochicago.blogspot.com and keep track of additional shows by following @ecochat on Twitter.

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About Alicia Ontiveros:
With a background in network television production, Alicia Ontiveros founded EcoChicago in January of 2009 to connect local residents with new green resources in the Windy City. Since then, she’s produced dozens of web videos featuring green leaders and forged her own sustainable lifestyle. EcoChat is her newest endeavor, connecting green leaders with a global audience to encourage a more robust culture of sustainability.

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