AgChat to Continue the Ask the Farmers Project

An open letter to the members of the Ask the Farmers & AgChat communities:

Agvocacy, much like agriculture, is a constantly evolving world that we all must work hard to keep up in. Challenges from consumers, skeptics, activists, and bureaucrats are constantly questioning our production systems, no matter what they may be. In the last few years, these challenges have only increased, and the rhetoric has only become more and more polarizing.

Then, from the darkness, appear these beacons of hope. And just like the glow from a lighthouse, they begin to shine through the fog and show us the way forward. Over the past several months, I’ve watched in awe as a few dedicated folks began to shine that light by addressing questions that our customers have in the most basic and non-confrontational of ways; by “asking the farmers”.

The work of Ask the Farmers has been nothing short of amazing. The group has shown tremendous dedication and leadership towards a cause that is far greater than any one person or group of people. They have chosen to dedicate their time and talents to opening their barn doors and tractor cabs for all the world to see.

And the results have been amazing.

It has, however, been taxing on the creators of the group. As I’m sure you can understand, it takes considerable time and effort to manage a community that has grown so quickly. The founders should be commended for the hard work and dedication they have shown up to this point. However, the time commitments of this group have simply become too great for them.

Last week, The AgChat Foundation, a 501c3 non profit, began talks with the creators of the Ask The Farmers group to acquire the rights, trademarks, and domain names of the group. I’m pleased to announce that we have secured those rights. I’d like to make it very clear at this point that we have no plans or ideas to change the basic structure of Ask The Farmers.

The community, that you are all invested in, works, and it works well. We, as ACF, want to continue ATF (ask the farmers) as a stand-alone, independent group, with ACF providing the back-office support that this type of undertaking requires. It is our hope that ATF will continue to be a place where folks can ask questions, seek answers, and find the farmers and bloggers that help connect farm to fork.

This is a very exciting time for Ask The Farmers. We hope that everyone will continue to help us grow the community, and continue to connect consumers with the food we produce every day. In the meantime, if you have any, and I do mean ANY questions, please do not hesitate to contact myself or any of the other members of our ACF/ATF transition team.

Sincerely,

Jeff VanderWerff

President and Board Chairman

AgChat Foundation, Inc.

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Contact Information:

Jeff VanderWerff, President and Board Chair 

Marie Bowers Stagg, Vice President

Brian Scott, Secretary

Zach Hunnicutt, Treasurer

Krista Stauffer, Director & Ask the Farmers Founder/Admin

Jenny Schweigert, Executive Director