Eliz Greene
Eliz Greene
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In the midst of a Brazillian pop star, a rock band, a musician, a Hollywood star, stands a Twitter User most people wouldn’t recognize, @mpaynknoper. Who?

Mashable, The Social Media Guide, announced the nominees for the 2009 Open Web Awards today and Certified Speaking Professional Michele Payn-Knoper was one of the top five nominees for Twitter User of the Year.

Michele’s is not a household name, and she likes it that way, but she’s been thrust into the spotlight by her passion to connect farmers who grow our food to the people who eat it. Michele uses her considerable skills in social media to help farmers tell their stories to the world.

Michele moderates AgChat, a weekly moderated conversation on Twitter for people in the business of raising food, feed, fuel, fiber.  It is a virtual venue for participants on Twitter to discuss issues impacting agriculture, such as mainstream media coverage, sustainability, communications, agronomy, animal welfare, USDA programs and perceptions of farming.  Michele and the group also created the monthly FoodChat designed to provide farmers and consumers with a forum to discuss issues in which they connect.  In fact, supermarket guru Phil Lempert participated as a special guest in this week’s FoodChat.

It is pretty obvious why people in the agricultural world think she should be Twitter User of the Year. Why should anyone else care?

First, wouldn’t it be wonderful to celebrate someone who uses Twitter to further a cause? Michele would rather have had us nominate AgChat – but this isn’t the “Best Cause Use of Twitter” award! Her modesty and focus on connecting farm gate to consumer plate is a good reason to vote for her!

If you are a busy woman and/or mother, Michele is a shining example of balancing work, mission, and family. She shares great information about feeding your family and can even tweet while on the elliptical trainer (worth a vote right there in my book).

If you are a speaker, remember a rising tide lifts all boats. Shining a light on a speaker who uses her voice to further a worthy cause raises the esteem of our profession. Michele is incredibly giving within the National Speakers Association family and deserves our support.

If you eat – you should learn more about where your food. Joining the conversation on Twitter is a great way to learn. Help expand the conversation by exposing AgChat and FoodChat to a greater audience.

So, please vote – once per day through December 13th.  She deserves it!

Here is Michele’s reaction to her nomination:

AgChat is held weekly on Tuesday evenings from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. eastern via a “streaming” Twitter feed.  A sister chat, known as “FoodChat,” takes place on the third Tuesday of each month, in lieu of AgChat, and is tailored more specifically to the interests of consumers, nutrition professionals, foodies and influencers of food choices. FoodChat gives its followers an opportunity to “meet a farmer” or ask questions of those in agriculture.

Chats begin with 15 minutes of networking, followed by 4-7 questions the community sends to the moderator in advance on the topic of the week. The chat is fast-paced, insightful and, often, colorful. The final 5 minutes is reserved for “pitching.”  Participants can plug their blog, site, product or ask for feedback on a business related idea.

Anyone with an interest in agriculture or food is invited to participate in AgChat and FoodChat. See the guidelines for assistance in how to get started or visit Michele’s Gate to Plate blog for tips on social media and agriculture.

Michele has my vote (every day) I hope you’ll join me. Thanks!

Eliz Greene survived a massive heart attack while seven-months pregnant with twins, struggled to lose the 80 pounds gained during her pregnancy, and searched for a way to hold on to the perspective and passion she found in her near-death experience. Drawing on her background as an adaptive movement specialist, Eliz developed simple strategies and tips to help other busy women be more active, eat better and manage your stress.

As the Director of the Embrace Your Heart Wellness Initiative, Eliz travels the country energizing and inspiring audiences in keynotes and workshops on women’s heart health. She writes one of the top 100 health and wellness blogs. Find more at www.EmbraceYourHeart.com.

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Eliz Greene

About Eliz Greene

Eliz Greene survived a heart attack at age 35 while seven months pregnant with twins. Her down-to-earth strategies to manage stress and improve heart health and reduce stress are used by thousands of busy people all over the world. She is a motivational wellness speaker, author, and job stress researcher. Visit elizgreene.com to book Eliz for your next event.

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