Tag Archives: constituency

I’m Your Huckleberry: My Adventures with Social Media and my Congressman

‘You gotta quit this sh*t Megan, it’s getting ridiculous’ – (my Dad)

To be fair I think Dad was referring to the fact that I have had two different forms of news out to The Ranch in less than two weeks. The first was The Sac Bee, and the second was my local news station, KHSL-TV.

Screen shot from the story! Go here to check it out http://www.actionnewsnow.com/news/oroville-cattle-rancher-uses-twitter-to-make-political-voice-heard/

Screen shot from the story! Go here to check it out.

But it’s not quite that simple. Over the past few years I’ve been using social media for more than cows, plows and sows. I’ve used it to engage my local politicians, namely my Congressman, Doug LaMalfa. This all culminated with our President’s State of the Union Address last January.

You see, I was “live tweeting” it on twitter. If you are not familiar with twitter or live tweeting, that means I was, at 140 characters or less, giving my thoughts and opinions on the President’s speech. Congressman LaMalfa was doing the same thing. It happened to catch the eye of Brian Johnson, which led to an interview out here on the Ranch.

One of my favorite topics to ask my Congressman about is climate change. Even if you don't believe it is happening, I think as an elected official, farmer and Dad, he should at least humor those of us that are concerned about it.

One of my favorite topics to ask my Congressman about is climate change. Even if you don’t believe it is happening, I think as an elected official, farmer and Dad, he should at least humor those of us that are concerned about it.

Now, the Congressman and I have been tweeting at each other for a few years now. Ok, to be fair, I have done MOST of the tweeting. I firmly believe that our elected officials should interact with their constituency. I do understand how busy our elected official must be, especially our Congress, but that is the beauty of social media – you can address those issues for many people rather quickly. It does make me sad that my Congressman does not really take advantage of that opportunity.

Congressman LaMalfa's email blasts always encourage us to engage him. However, as I have found out and you can see for yourself on his pages, he doesn't engage.

Congressman LaMalfa’s email blasts always encourage us to engage him. However, as I have found out and you can see for yourself on his pages, he doesn’t engage.

Brian Johnson came out the morning after SOTU for the interview. We had a great visit, and it was fun to have him out to the Ranch. He filed a wonderful report! The feedback I got on my social media feeds was all super positive. It was a wonderful experience for me!

Brian got to meet Silly pig. As you can see, Silly really like him.

Brian got to meet Silly pig. As you can see, Silly really like him.

 However, I’m not sure how my Congressman felt about it. I have a feeling I might have upset him when I mentioned that sometimes he responded to my tweets and it is getting harder to ignore me. Since the interview he hasn’t tweeted or facebooked me back at all, despite multiple attempts.

He invites the President to his 'house', I invite my Congressman to mine.

He invites the President to his ‘house’, I invite my Congressman to mine.

 I have to admit I do find it disheartening. I think when the next generation of ag leaders are actively seeking to engage with current leaders, only good things can come of those interactions. It hurts to approach my elected official in a positive and polite manner only to be rebuffed, again and again. I know we might not have the same political beliefs but having open and respectful dialogue would help foster understanding on both sides and be an excellent example for many.

It puzzled me when the Congressman made the comment about name calling. That is not my style at all.

It puzzled me when the Congressman made the comment about name calling. That is not my style at all.

Stay tuned! I have no intention of giving up my quest to communicate with my Congressman. I believe that our Government is for the People, by the People, and it is our responsibility to maintain that. Many of us have slipped into complacency and general sense of disconnect and we no longer engage in our political system. It’s time to change that and if I can inspire just a handful of people to do that, then my job is done. #aghagforcongress

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