Emily Zweber Elko, Minnesota Executive Director AgChat FoundationWhat education are you bringing with you to this position ?
I have a bachelor’s degree in agriculture economics fromSouth Dakota State University. I am also a University of Minnesota Policy Fellow.
Please describe your agricultural background.
My husband and I co-own and operate an organic dairy along with his parents. I continue to be very active in the day-to-day operations of the farm, including our farm’s own social media presence.
What are your new responsibilities?
In December, I was hired as the first executive director of the AgChat Foundation (Agchat.org). AgChat’s mission is to empower farmers and ranchers to connect communities through social media platforms. I will be working with this farmer-led organization to oversee its daily operations.
My main responsibilities are to grow the organization both in terms of donors and partnerships and build the number of trained farmers and ranchers in social media.
What territory will you cover?
AgChat Foundation is a national organization. I will be working with farmers and ranchers and agribusinesses from coast to coast.
What previous positions have you held?
I have served as special programs coordinator for the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation and executive director of the Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation.
What excites you most about working in your new role?
The AgChat Foundation was built on the passion of farmers and ranchers who saw a need to be more visible in social media. The organization was completely run by volunteers for the first 18 months. It is exciting to work for an organization whose founders are so passionate about their mission.
How will you be of most helpto producers in your regionor area of expertise?
The foundation’s goal is to grow the number of farmers and ranchers using social media to tell their story. The board of directors has so many exciting ideas and plans to do just that. It will be my job to harness all the energy and passion and help them realize their goals.
Why did you choose this company?
Our farm has been involved with the AgChat Foundation as volunteers since its inception in 2010. With my background in the non-profit sector, it is a natural fit combining my passion for agriculture and my expertise in growing nonprofits.
What goals would you like to accomplish while in this position?
My goal is to continue to build on the success that the founding farmers achieved. To that I will bring on new funding partners and also grow the number of trained farmers and ranchers. PD