Building Partnerships, Via Twitter

When I was introduced to Twitter, social media guru Nathan Wright from Lava Row told me that Twitter would connect me with people I should know.  “You need to be there,” my friend and former colleague urged me.  And, with some reluctance, I found myself signing up for a Twitter handle.

I have to admit that I thought Twitter would open doors for me in places like Des Moines, Iowa, or even Minneapolis, Minnesota.  But I had no idea that Twitter would open doors for me right in my backyard – Franklin County, Iowa!

My first encounter with a Tweep was really quite unexpected and somewhat random.  It happened in July 2010 at the Franklin County Fair.  I was checking Twitter updates on my SmartPhone during a lull in the Latham Seeds’ booth.  One of the tweets I read was by Deb Brown or @debworks.  I finally looked away from my phone and glanced at the exhibitor next to me.  Ironically, the person working in the booth next to me was none other than Deb Brown herself!

That meeting turned out to be serendipitous since @debworks is a connector.  In less than two weeks, Deb had connected me with other local business owners who served as vendors for our first ever Latham Country Fair.

Over the course of two years, we’ve developed a partnership that helps make a difference in Franklin County.  Our biggest collaborative effort was the Harvest Tour we hosted in October 2011.  That Harvest Tour really helped put Franklin County on the map as the attendees were bloggers like Sara BroersClaire CelsiLaura GaulkeJody Halsted, Heather Lilienthal and Jocelyn Wallace.  Their blog posts helped us gain media recognition and even paved the way for Franklin County representatives to get a live interview on CNN while it was in Des Moines covering the Iowa Caucus.  That’s huge for a county with a population of 10,540!

The 2011 Harvest Tour is also where I first met Larry Sailer with whom I’ve since partnered on a fundraiser for the Franklin County 4-H Scholarship Endowment.  Larry and I also work together weekly as he authors “Musings of a Pig Farmer” that posts each Tuesday on Latham Seeds’ blog,

Today Larry Sailer and I are among the five Franklin County residents who will be speak today at the State of NOW conference in Des Moines.  I’m looking forward to meeting up with my fellow Franklin County Tweeps in the Capitol City.  I’m also looking forward to meeting other fellow speakers including Janice Person (@jplovescotton) and Judi Graff (@farmnwife).

Even if you aren’t able to travel to Des Moines, you can participate in live streaming video.  Join us today for the State of NOW!

  • Click Here for the life streaming of the 2012 Des Moines State of NOW 140 Conference. (Live stream should start about 8 A.M.)
Want to know more about the 140 State of NOW conference in Des Moines? Check out this blog written by Janice Person.