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The value of social media for farmers and consumers


Narrator:            This is Science Today. Half a billion eggs were recalled last summer during a nationwide investigation of a salmonella outbreak. While the source was traced to a farm in Iowa, it led many consumers to wonder just where their eggs came from. At the University of California, Davis, agriculture experts recently co-sponsored a workshop for statewide farmers to get more involved in social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter. Animal science professor Annie King, who helped coordinate the workshop, says one of the goals is to put a personal face on who is actually producing the food.

King:                   Suppose that a consumer has some association with an egg producer in California, because they are communicating on Facebook or they read something that's put on Twitter, then there's the opportunity to actually e-mail that person or write something and say, "I'm concerned about this ... are these your eggs? Where are these eggs coming from, what is the real situation — is it the whole industry or is this just really one group." So, you can actually have communication with that person that is producing your food and I think that's a good thing.

Narrator:            For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.