Saturday, 27 August 2011

NashVegas Adventures, Pt. 1

I have decided to break my Nashville blogs into serveral parts, one for the tourism, one for the conference, and one for my goals after the conference. Here is part 1:

After 12 hours of traveling, I finally made it to Nashville.

After claiming my luggage, I decided to wait outside for the hotel shuttle bus. I walk out the doors, and I was struck by the intense heat and humidity! It was a lot different type of heat then this Alberta girl is used to. I then saw that there was a little room outside that was air conditioned to wait for the bus, a heaven sent.

When I arrived at the hotel, I could not wait for the rest of Team Alberta to get there and the tourism could begin!

We decided to head down Broadway to find a bite to eat. Well when we got down there, I finally figured out why they call it NashVegas, it looks like Vegas, with a cowboy influence.

Broadway at night.

When we went down Broadway, it was amazing! Every single bar and restaurant had a live band playing, all day and night!  There is also approximately 7-10 boot shops, that we had to into. Every boot was stunning, but with a $700 price tag, I opted not to buy any. I am sure my parents appreciate me not using my student loan money on that.

After going into EVERY single boot shop, as well as mulitple other shops, we finally realized why we went, to eat!

We came across a little bar, BBKings, that had a live band. They were incredible.

BBKings Band

After doing more shopping, it was time to go to the Grand Ole Opry. Some of the names we were able to take in included, Vince Gill, Little Jimmie Dickens, Jimmy Wayne, among many others.

The amazing Grand Ole Opry

Ohh, and for your information, They have commercials in real life too.

This brings us to Sunday, holy, we fit alot of tourism into one day.  Our first stop, the Ryman Auditorium.

The Ryman is probably one of the coolest places I have been to. It is the original Opry house, that started as a church. This has some cool history behind it. I don't want to waste too much of your time with it, but if you are interested please visit the Ryman Auditiorium's history page.

We "played" on the same stage as some of Country's biggest stars!

We then headed down the street to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. There was sooooooo much to take in, it was incredible. I chose my favorite three items in the Museum to share with you.

Minnie Pearl's Hat With the Original Price Tag

Wall of Gold & Platinum Records

Elvis' car with a diamond paint job.

After the Meusem, we were able to take in the best of the best in country music. I could not choose just one of the inductees to share with you, so here is a picture of the round room. They decided to make the room round, so now one person was in a better position then another, as everyone has achieved so much.

The steak in the midde is a replica of the WSM radio tower. 
Finally, Sunday night, where we got to meet the rest of our Agvocates. I will be continuing this blog in the days to come stay tuned!

Monday, 22 August 2011

Well, its here!

I write this blog sitting in a hotel room surrounded by fellow agvocates learning how to use social media!

Many of you are probably thinking, "Farmers use social media?" Well you are not alone in that thought.

When one of my fellow AgNerds took a cab, he had a very interesting conversation with his southern cab driver. She was asking what brought him to Nashville. He told her he was attending a Farmers conference on how to use social media, explaining he has Twitter. "Farmers tweet??" she replied, "You don't need to learn anything more if you already have Twitter." He then told her that he was also a presenter of our sessions. "Now you don't go teachin' them too much. They still need to do their work!" She instructed him. He then told her that he tweets the most when he is in the tractor using autosteer. "Autosteer? Whats that!" It was explained that it was like the GPS system, but it steers for you. Her reaction, "Your a pimp farmer!"

Technology is truly taking over the world, if farmers are tweeting in the tractor. I am surrounded by over 100 like minded AgNerds to learn how to Agvocate better through social media, and I am ohh so excited!

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Hell Bent, and Nashville Bound!

The Roadhammers said it best, "I ain't got no money, I ain't got no sense, Headed down to Nashville, just to say I went." well its only half true.

The truth; I have no money, some say I have no sense, I am headed down to Nashville, to help improve my agvocacy skills. 

I am not one for the lights of a big city, but is Nashville really a big city?

When I heard about the 2011 Agvocacy 2.0 Training, I was intrigued. Then I found out it was in Nashville, so I made it my goal to attend. The AgChat Foundation is hosting this fantastic confrerence for us to improve and tweak our Agvocacy skills. 

Before I go any further, here is a little information I found on their website to give you little background of this conference.

Their misson

Empower farmers and ranchers to connect communities through social media platforms.

Why Agvocacy? (Well really, why not?)

The AgChat℠ Foundation is designed to help those who produce food, fuel, fiber and feed tell agriculture’s story from their point of view. The Foundation will educate and equip farmers and ranchers with the skill set needed to effectively engage on Twitter, Facebook, blogs, YouTube, Linkedin and other social media services. It will give them knowledge to unlock new tools to effectively tell their story. Research shows that social media is a growing opportunity for farmers to have a stronger voice in educating people about the business of growing food, fuel, feed and fiber.
The Foundation is built from the highly visible “#AgChat” community on Twitter. This weekly moderated chat has served as an international meeting place where the people of agriculture can discuss difficult issues, tell their farm stories and identify ways to connect with people outside of agriculture. More than 2,000 people from seven countries have participated in #AgChat since it started in April 2009. And that’s only the beginning.
Farmers are leading a grassroots effort to develop the AgChat℠ Foundation. The organization is designed to connect agriculture in communities beyond Twitter. Four program areas have been identified to maximize agriculture’s opportunity with social media – be sure to see what farmers have to say about why this is important.

Don't be shy to visit and find more information. 

The best thing about this website, I find, is it show cases the farmers involved in the foundation. Many of you may notice that it is an American based foundation, and that may turn you off. I find it more intriguing to see the similarities and differences between the agriculture on each side of the border. This is another reason I am very excited to be going to Nashville. 

Let's face it, a trip to Nashville would be a waste if I didn't go see some of the major staples of the town. 

The Country Music Hall of Fame 

How could I go to the Country Capital and not take in the Hall of Fame? This building plays home to millions of country music archives from decades past. This summer they are showcasing the Williams family legacy, and the American Letter Press  (poster shop).

Has anyone gone to Nashville and didnt take in the Grand Ole Opry?

The Grand Ole Opry will be playing host to Vince Gill, Larry Gatlin, Kimmy Wayne, Bradley Gaskin, James Wesley, The Sleepyman Banjo Boys and more.  This many acts for under $50?? Steal of a deal if you ask me. 

And of course, I made sure I packed a light suitcase for tons of country shopping!

As I sit here in the Toronto airport during my 4 hour layover, I just keep getting more and more excited to  be Hell Bent and Nashville Bound!