SXSW is an event I’ve been wanting to attend for a few years, but I’ve never been able to make it happen until now. I like technology, music, social media, movies, and a lot of the cool stuff that is on display and up for discussion.
And discussion will be my main reason for attending. I’ve been working with a group called GMO Answers for a couple of years. Several companies banded together to form GMO Answers to do just exactly as their name says. The goal is to answer any question people may have about genetically modified organisms aka GMOs. During my 4 years of blogging I have gained a bit of a reputation as a farmer who is willing to openly talk about why we use biotechnology on our farm. People in the ag industry know this so I was approached to participate in GMO Answers as an independent expert along with other farmers, industry people, scientists, and more. You can see on my profile a list of questions I’ve answered over time. The process is pretty simple. Anyone can submit a question to the website. GMO Answers emails the appropriate expert and asks if they would like to answer. I say yes or no and type up a response. Occasionally I will talk to media. Just yesterday I talked to a man from CNBC about Bt crops.
So now GMO Answers brings me to Austin, Texas for SXSW. I’ll be doing the same basic thing I do online for them, but it will be live in a booth where anyone attending SXSW can drop in and ask me a question. There will be other experts from different fields there along with me. GMO Answers is taking care of my travel and lodging, but I won’t be compensated in any way for my time. The same goes for anything I do online or with the media. All of us experts are participating because we think it’s good for the ag industry to be out there talking about why we do the things we do.
There are going to be some cool demos in the booth with us. One I’m excited to see will be the tillage demo set up with toy tractors. I think that will be a really good way for people coming by the booth to visualize full tillage vs minimum till and no-till.
And maybe the event I’m most looking forward to is Monday at noon in the GMO Answers booth. I will be participating in a live reddit AMA. For those that don’t use reddit, AMA stands for ask me anything. Normally an AMA occurs in an online message board, but this one is going to be live in person which should be really cool.
I’m looking forward to some great conversations as I work the booth Sunday March 15 through most of Monday March 16. Be sure to keep up with me while I’m in Austin via facebook, twitter, and Instagram.
I will be also be meeting up with a few friends down there. Two of note one of which will be the redheaded convertible driver Janice Person. She’s helped me a lot with learning how the behind the scenes controls of my blog work, and she helped me painlessly move to a self-hosted site a while back. We’ve met several times before, but it’s always fun to be with JP.
The other will be the well-known social media expert Peg Fitzpatrick. Peg and I have never met, but she graciously adjusted her SXSW schedule for the chance to meet up with Janice and me. Peg helped me learn how to improve my social media presence early on, and later gave me the opportunity to reach beyond the ag crowd by giving me space to write for 12 Most. You must know when I was just a baby blogger trying to grab an online foothold that Janice and Peg were two of the first people to lend me a helping hand. And they still do to this day. It’s going to be great having all three of us in the same room!
In just two days I’m heading for Austin, Texas and SXSW! Be sure to follow me on social media and wish me luck next week!