In September 2015, Marlboro County, S.C. farmer Pat Rogers launched a new side business targeted directly to farmers in the age of social media. His website, www.AgFuse.com is a free information network for farmers and others in agriculture across the globe to connect.
“AgFuse has 4,000 members from all 50 states and 64 countries. It is basically an online information network that allows you to connect with others who share your interests. It uses an algorithm that connects you with people in your area or around the world that share similar farming interests,” Rogers said.
Rogers farms in partnership with his father, Frank Rogers, III, the 2019 High Cotton Winner for the Southeast. The two produce cotton, corn, peanuts, wheat and soybeans near Bennettsville.
Rogers explains that AgFuse is a digital way for farmers and others to network and get customized news and information. News, commodity quotes, weather reports, blogs and a publishing platform are parts of the site. It is designed for anyone in agriculture, from farmers to consultants to Extension agents. Rogers said it is useful to both crop and livestock producers. AgFuse is available as an app on both the iOS and Android platforms as well.
User profiles include basic information, areas of interest, such as organic farming or livestock. Users can form or join groups allowing for the discussion of specific topics, such as cover crops and precision technology. The diverse toolset provided by AgFuse allows farmers to increase knowledge in the field, update members and provide instant news through groups, Rogers said.
“For example, a cotton grower interested in cover crops can use AgFuse to connect with national experts in the field,” Rogers explained.
Rogers came up with the idea of AgFuse after attending a precision agriculture conference. “The best way to network is to network in person. But how do I connect and continue to learn if I can’t do it in person? Social media is the next best way. AgFuse takes the aspect of a message board to a different level,” Rogers said.
Pat founded Agfuse in September 2015 and farms in partnership with his dad Frank, the 2019 High Cotton winner for the Southeast, near Bennettsille, S.C.. Pat and wife, Blake, and Frank and wife, Cheryle, are all graduates of Clemson University. Blake is a yoga instructor in Bennettsville while Cheryle is a retired school teacher and current fulltime farmer.