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Ag Solidarity Network Launch Week: growing a farmer-led platform to strengthen our community of organic, regenerative farmers & support organizations

Published: Jun 2023
By: Victoria Ostenso, Farmer Network Specialist

Last month, we hosted a virtual Launch Week for the Ag Solidarity Network (ASN) platform. The ASN is a collective and farmer-led platform with the intent to grow the community of farmer folks, create synergies in the work that we do, and build power towards systemic change that supports organic and regenerative agriculture. The ASN was developed in 2021, went “live” in early 2022, and continues to grow “organically” as more people and organizations find out about the site. The ASN is free to join, and has many similar features to other social media platforms that help members to connect and share information including; member profiles, live feed, people directory, direct messaging, job opportunities & events sharing, and classifieds. One of the features that I especially appreciate about the site is that there are no ads and the information you share is secure within the platform. There is also an app for the platform so that users can connect on the go - download here for Android or iOS .

Launch Week drew attention to the platform through social media promotion and partner organizations sharing with their networks. Folks were invited to join the ASN, participate in daily “challenges” within the platform (such as building out your profile, introducing yourself to the community via the live feed, joining a group…), and join us for 6 virtual events that were held directly on the site throughout the week.

Launch Week successfully drew new users to the platform. Membership grew by over 100 users – from 600 active users to 704. Despite low attendance at our virtual events (likely due to the timing of the Launch Week in relation to temps heating up in the Midwest and the start of a very busy season for farmers) we were able to have some engaging conversations and support folks in learning about the platform, the food system, and regenerative agriculture. Three of these events were recorded and are available on the Marbleseed YouTube Channel here: ASN Platform Q&A , The Concentration Crisis in America's Food System With Austin Frerick , Growing in a Deep Winter Greenhouse with UWM Extension .

If you have not joined the ASN, I highly recommend checking it out. To join:

Go to agsolidaritynetwork.com

Select “Join Ag Solidarity Network” in the top right of the screen.

Complete the sign-up form.

You will receive a confirmation email. If you do not see the email, check your Spam folder. If it is not there, you may need to add the email info@agsolidaritynetwork.com to your contacts/safe senders list.

Once you have followed the link in your confirmation email, your ASN account is activated and you can log in, customize your profile, and explore the site.

If you are a farmer who has ideas for growing this platform, contact us! If you are a member of an organization that would like to partner with us to continue to grow the site, please let us know! We want this space to be as collective as possible, so the more farmers and organizations who use it as a tool/resource the better. If you have any ideas or curiosities about the platform, please direct them to info@agsolidaritynetwork.org.

Happy harvesting!

Victoria Ostenso, Farmer Network Specialist @ Marbleseed