Northwest Michigan fruit growers: Follow the Northwest Station on Twitter

This new technology can benefit northwest Michigan fruit growers as they’ll receive up-to-date information from the Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Station during the busy growing season.

The Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Station (NWMHRS) has set up a Twitter account for the region’s growers. Twitter is an online networking service that enables users to send and read text-based messages of up to 140 characters known as “tweets.” We think Twitter will be a valuable way of communicating important and up-to-date information about events in the orchards and vineyards; these events can be communicated immediately and growers can receive the information directly on his or her phone, even while in the field.

Tweets can be received by growers with smart phones by downloading the Twitter app or as text messages for more traditional cell phones. If growers do not have a cell phone, they can still receive the information online by going to the Twitter website.

For those interested in “following” (receiving information) from the NWMHRS via Twitter, they need to sign up for Twitter online at https://twitter.com. The steps to sign up are fairly simple to follow: just create a username and click on Create Account. The next page in the set up process will show you what a tweet is. Following people or organizations is the next step, and the Northwest Station’s user name is @NWMHRS.

Once this initial information has been entered, followers will have to log into the account, which is the main page where growers can compose a tweet or read tweets, change account settings and information, and choose to follow or un-follow people or organizations. For growers with cell phones, he or she can download the Twitter app to work with a smart phone or activate Twitter text messaging by entering a cell phone number. Once this information has been entered, growers can receive tweets of important and relevant information as we go through the growing season.

The Northwest Station will continue to produce traditional email information through FruitNet multiple times per week, and Michigan State University Extension News for Fruit & Nuts will also provide timely information during the growing season. We thought this new technology might be another way to communicate with growers, especially when they are on the go during a busy field season. We hope that growers will find this new technology to be beneficial.

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