COLUMN: UK College of Ag embraces social media

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By Bryce Roberts

Getting a message out to the masses has never been so convenient, and the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture is no stranger to engaging multi-generational, diverse audiences. It was a natural progression for the college to develop a strong social media presence.
“We have come to realize the need for a stronger presence in social media,” said Scott Smith, dean and director of the UK College of Agriculture. “Our mission has always included extending information resources and educational opportunities to everyone, not only those on the campus. Effective communication is the key to doing that well, and now communication formats are very rapidly changing. Social media extends our reach and touches many more Kentuckians.”
The official UK College of Agriculture twitter feed is @UKAgriculture and the Facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/UKAg1. College content is also on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/ukagriculture. Followers of the accounts will receive the most up-to-date information about college news and events and instantly join a network of others related to or interested in Kentucky agriculture, family and consumer sciences, 4-H youth development and Kentucky Cooperative Extension. For even more information from the College of Agriculture and Cooperative Extension, visit UK’s iTunes U site. Follow this link http://itunes.uky.edu/, log into iTunes and then click College of Agriculture to find hundreds of college publications, instructional videos, news, consumer tips and training.
“Students are engaged in various social media outlets throughout the day; it’s part of their routine,” said Jason Headrick, UK College of Agriculture director of student relations. “We can become a bigger part of their daily lives and provide timely information to them in their terms.”
Billy Toombs is the UK College of Agriculture alumni relations and annual giving coordinator. He believes that reaching out through social media opens up many possibilities for the college.
“It’s allowing us to reach more people in less time than we’ve ever been able to before,” he said. “We’ll be able to keep in better touch with our valuable UK Agriculture family throughout Kentucky and the World.”
Links to all the social media outlets are also available from the UK College of Agriculture website at http://www.ca.uky.edu/social
Feel free to contact me at your Spencer County Cooperative Extension Service at 477-2217 or you can email me at broberts@uky.edu.  You can visit the Spencer County Extension Services’ website at www.spencerextension.com.
Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability, or national origin.