While at the Ag Media Summit, it was interesting to be called by my Twitter ID so much of the time. Somehow it has just caught hold. And when I set up the blog, it seemed a natural fit. A year ago, at the AgMS there were probably less than a dozen tweeps there. This year the number skyrocketed and twitter name recognition jumped as well.
Granted, there were a few folks who called me by JPlovesCOTTON at other events (Memphis tweetups, NAFB and the American Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting come to mind parts 1, 2 & 3 very quickly). But the number of new faces to go with long-time Twitter friends at the AgMS (posts 1 & 2), was incredible. And more of my pre-Twitter friends (yes, there was a time before Twitter), stay in touch through social media as well.
So hearing JPlovesCOTTON was far more frequent this past week and we used other Twitter handles alongside our given names. And as conversations turned to personal branding, it seems clear I have one clearly out there – my initials that friends first called me by in high school and my love of a fluffy white crop.
I didn’t give my Twitter ID a lot of thought when I set up the account. Went with a couple of things that tell who I am. Somewhere along the way, I thought pretty long & hard about changing it so it was shorter. But I decided retweets be damned, I talk ag a lot and cotton is my thing, its my passion, and the cotton industry is one of the places I feel most at home.
I love them old cotton fields back home, even when its a good cotton summer (which means far hotter than a good Janice summer). I can explain the parts of a cotton plant with the enthusiasm of a cotton physiologist thanks to friends who took time to help me understand. I love getting into a discussion with PhDs about some new genetics or a new biotech trait. And I love making an on-farm visit with a Mississippi cotton farmer or a Texas crop consultant who’s been field testing that product. I enjoy talking to a marketer about what textile mills are buying right now and where demand is headed. And I must admit its exciting to me to pass along some of the info I’ve learned about cotton fabrics and other products made from this important crop in the South.
Friends who don’t work in agriculture, sometimes say I’m a cotton girl. Farmers in other crops sometimes chuckle when I connect a crop or practice they are in to the white gold (some have even said they learned a thing or two). And in the cotton business, I cozy up to folks even if they are one of the rare names or faces I don’t know. (I know a few folks who should see themselves in this paragraph!)
It wasn’t til I had a good night’s sleep this weekend that I realized “JPlovesCOTTON” is just like a friend of mine’s dad who farms alongside the Mississippi River. The dad always refers to himself as a cotton farmer, even though a few years cotton prices have made the crop a rarity on his farm. Yep, I am pretty sure this is something that I am good with even though it could also be JPlovesAG and be a little shorter for the retweet. Lots of folks love agriculture, but espousing a love of cotton… that differentiates me a bit out here. but no worries, I’ll keep sharing the love! 🙂